U.S. grains: Wheat crumbles after hitting six-month high

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat futures plunged 4.4 per cent on Wednesday, with the front-month contract crashing from a six-month high as investors locked in profits from Tuesday’s corn-led rally, traders said.

Corn closed mostly firmer after trading in negative territory for much of the day while soybeans fell. Both commodities settled above session lows, supported by ongoing concerns about excessive rains reducing final crop yields in the U.S. Midwest.

“Both row crop markets have seemingly gone from incredibly comfortable, okay demand situations to potentially tight supply, too much demand situations over the last thirty days,” Tregg Cronin, market analyst at Halo Commodity Co., said in a research note.

But a bleak fundamental picture weighed on wheat, which was facing strong headwinds from the ongoing harvest of the winter wheat crop in the U.S. and light overseas demand for U.S. supplies due to cheaper options around the globe.

“Wheat got smoked early and often as harvest pressure started the break,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital said in a note to clients. “The export side of wheat is dead in the water.”

CBOT soft red winter wheat for September delivery ended down 27-1/4 cents at $5.88-1/2 a bushel at 10:09 a.m. CT.

Egypt’s GASC said after the closing bell that it tendered to buy an unspecified amount of wheat for August shipment. The U.S. has not been competitive in recent tenders from Egypt and it was not expected to win any business in the new deal. Results are expected tomorrow.

CBOT August soybeans were 8-3/4 cents lower at $10.41-3/4 and CBOT September corn was up 1/2 cent at $4.22-1/2 a bushel.

The U.S. Agriculture Department has said it will resurvey farmers about their soybean plantings. The government’s acreage and supply reports released on Tuesday came in below expectations for both corn and soybeans.

Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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