U.S. grains: Soybeans, corn ease in technical setback

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures eased on Wednesday in a technical selling setback following two days of gains despite concerns that rainy weather in parts of the Midwest would delay harvesting and possibly damage some crops.

Corn futures also fell as technical selling more than offset support from strong demand and potential harvest delays. Wheat prices drifted lower with corn and soybeans after rallying more than two per cent a day earlier on worries about tightening global supplies.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans touched a near-six-week high during the session, but ended down 4-1/2 cents at $8.61-1/2 per bushel as buying interest faded (all figures US$).

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December corn closed down 2-3/4 cents at $3.64-3/4 a bushel after failing to top Tuesday’s three-week high.

Both contracts slipped below their 50-day moving averages after closing at or above the key technical level on Tuesday for the first time since mid-August.

Forecasts for rain across the Corn Belt over the next 10 days have raised concern that corn and soybean harvests that had been ahead of the normal pace could fall behind, which raises the risk crops could be damaged or difficult to harvest.

“The northern half of the growing area keeps getting rain and harvest delays. And the longer-term weather forecast doesn’t look all that great,” said Ted Seifried, chief agricultural market strategist for Zaner Group in Chicago.

CBOT December wheat fell four cents to $5.15-1/4 a bushel after earlier failing to break through technical resistance at its 200-day moving average.

Russia’s agriculture safety watchdog said it has no immediate plans to suspend the operation of grain loading points in Black Sea ports near the city of Krasnodar.

Wheat futures rallied a day earlier after the watchdog said it could temporarily suspend operations of 30 inland grain loading points in two of Russia’s top grain exporting regions — Krasnodar and Rostov.

“The idea of a slowdown in Russian shipments was in the air for several weeks in view of the current high shipment pace leading to high prices on the Russian internal market,” consultancy Agritel said in a note.

A sharp fall in Russian wheat production from last year’s record crop has fueled speculation about potential government export restrictions. That speculation comes amid worries about weather-reduced crops in other key export regions around the world.

Australia recorded its driest September on record and the country is expecting its smallest wheat crop in a decade.

— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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