U.S. grains: Wheat falls on poor exports

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures fell for the second straight day on Wednesday on pressure from light export demand and some easing concerns about weather damage to the developing U.S. crop, traders said.

Corn futures eased on some mild technical sales while soybeans closed in positive territory, turning higher late in the trading day after the dollar weakened.

Wheat’s 1.3 per cent decline was the biggest daily percentage drop for the grain in two weeks. Egypt, the world’s top buyer of wheat, said it bought 240,000 tonnes in a tender from France, Romania and Ukraine.

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U.S. exporters did not even bother to offer any supplies in the deal as they were too far out of the market.

“They are not willing to put in any premium into the market as long as we keep missing these tenders,” said Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics.

CBOT May soft red winter wheat dropped 6-1/2 cents to close at $4.70-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

Temperatures are forecast to drop below freezing late this week in much of the southern Plains, but not low enough to cause significant damage, meteorologists said.

CBOT May corn settled 1/4 cent lower at $3.68-1/4 a bushel while CBOT May soybeans rose 2-1/2 cents to $8.94-1/2 a bushel.

Soybeans had traded in negative territory for much of the day but turned higher after the U.S. dollar retreated into negative territory.

The dollar drop stemmed from a U.S. Federal Reserve statement that said moderate economic growth and job gains would allow it to resume tightening monetary policy this year. A weak dollar makes U.S. soybeans relatively less expensive to overseas buyers.

But the expanding soybean harvest in Brazil limited the gains made by the futures market.

“Dry weather conditions are currently allowing harvesting of the soybean crop in Brazil — which is expected to be record-high — to make rapid progress,” Commerzbank said in a market note.

Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Nigel Hunt in London.

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