U.S. grains: Soy, wheat, corn post light gains in technical trade

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose slightly on short-covering on Wednesday after falling nearly two per cent a day earlier when a U.S. Agriculture Department report projected domestic soy stocks would rise to a nine-year high.

Wheat and corn futures also edged higher on largely technical buying with ample global grain supplies limiting gains.

At the Chicago Board of Trade, July soybeans settled up 1-3/4 cents at $9.57-1/4 per bushel (all figures US$). July corn ended up 1-1/4 cents at $3.62-1/4 and July wheat settled up one cent at $4.81-1/2 per bushel, after trading as low as $4.71.

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Soybeans bounced after the most-active July contract dipped to a one-month low, pressured by the USDA projection this week of domestic 2015-16 soy ending stocks of 500 million bushels. The figure topped trade expectations.

“Soybeans are seeing a limited rebound today with some bargain-buying and speculative purchases after the sharp fall on Tuesday as the market digests the storm of data from the USDA,” said Frank Rijkers, agrifood economist at ABN AMRO Bank. “I do not regard this as a long-term recovery.”

Wheat rallied in the final minute of trade after spending much of the session in negative territory. The market remained anchored near multi-year lows due to poor demand for U.S. supplies.

Tunisia’s state grains agency bought 100,000 tonnes of milling wheat and 142,000 tonnes of durum wheat in a tender that closed on Wednesday, European traders said. One trader said some of the wheat was likely to be sourced in the Black Sea region.

“Globally, (U.S. wheat is) still too expensive,” said Jim Gerlach of A/C Trading in Fowler, Indiana. “The last bid I saw for the Tunisian business, we were about $3 per metric ton too high versus France, and that was before the freight difference,” Gerlach said.

Nonetheless, commodity funds already hold a large net short position in CBOT wheat, leaving the market open to periodic short-covering.

Corn firmed but gains were limited by benign weather and a fast planting pace that should bolster U.S. crop prospects.

“The best the corn market is going to do is to consolidate against recent lows. But if we don’t have any weather threats over the near term, the market is going to grind lower,” said Tom Fritz, a partner at EFG Group in Chicago.

Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan and Naveen Thukral.

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