U.S. grains: Wheat, corn, soybeans fall on plentiful supplies

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn, soybean and wheat futures fell on Wednesday, with plentiful global stocks and expectations of a robust harvest casting a bearish tone over the market, traders said.

Wheat posted the biggest losses, falling below key technical support points as forecasts for rain in the U.S. Plains drove prices down two per cent to one-week lows.

Corn notched its third straight day of declines as investors struggled to find a reason to push prices above the eight-month highs hit last week.

“Corn has spent the week so far trending lower each day,” Richard Plackemeier of CHS Hedging said in a note to clients. “The corn market lacks a ‘new’ story to latch on to, so prices correct back lower from last week’s surge.”

Investors were reluctant to make big bets ahead of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s monthly supply and demand report on Thursday.

Chicago Board of Trade May corn futures ended down 3-3/4 cents at $3.72-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$). CBOT May wheat was 9-1/2 cents lower at $4.47 a bushel.

Farming agency FranceAgriMer increased its forecast for French soft wheat stocks this season for the second month in a row as increased imports and reduced export prospects within the European Union outweighed improving exports elsewhere.

CBOT May soybeans were off 3-1/2 cents at $10.21-3/4 a bushel.

Soybean futures hit their lowest level since Feb. 27, with crop forecasts for the Brazilian harvest issued earlier this week continuing to weigh on prices.

“I believe soybean and corn markets today are again being weakened by the forecasts of very large soybean harvests in Brazil,” said Arnaud Saulais of Starsupply Commodity Brokers. “The market is awaiting the USDA reports on Thursday which are also expected to highlight the large South American harvests this year.”

The 2016-17 Brazilian soybean crop could reach 109.07 million tonnes, almost 15 million tonnes more than in the previous season, as record yields in several states boost output prospects, broker and analyst INTL FCStone said on Tuesday.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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