U.S. grains: Soy, wheat, corn fall on profit-taking, dollar gains

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. grain and oilseed prices fell on Wednesday, with soybeans retreating from five-month highs as investors took profits and as a rising dollar made the commodities more expensive in global markets.

Soybeans declined for the first time in six sessions, giving back a portion of their recent gains as harvest advanced of a record large Brazilian crop.

“Soybeans are seeing a pullback today… with some market participants assessing that soybean prices are too high in view of the fundamental background of large supplies with a bumper crop in South America,” said Frank Rijkers, agrifood economist at ABN AMRO Bank.

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for May delivery settled five cents lower at $9.05-1/4 per bushel (all figures US$). Soyoil futures tumbled as much as 1.7 per cent, following earlier declines in Malaysian palm oil and as crude oil also fell sharply.

CBOT May corn fell 1-1/2 cents, to $3.68-1/2 per bushel, declining from what had been the highest levels in nearly a month. CBOT May wheat eased 3-3/4 cents, to $4.63 per bushel, nearing their lowest levels in almost a week.

Concerns that bitter cold temperatures damaged young wheat plants in dry parts of the southern U.S. Plains propelled prices higher in recent days, but U.S. wheat and corn have lost favour in export markets due to cheaper supplies on offer in South America and the Black Sea region.

Additionally, snowfall and rains in parts of the Plains were seen as beneficial for developing wheat plants and also provided subsoil moisture for upcoming corn plantings in states such as Nebraska.

“We put in a small weather premium for the time being,” Crossroads Co-op analyst Joe Christopher said. “The freeze concerns for wheat were probably genuine, but it will be several weeks before we know.”

Michael Hirtzer reports on agriculture and ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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