Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures extended losses to the lowest levels in a week on Thursday, pressured by gains in the dollar and after the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its supply outlook.
Soybeans and corn also eased as the stronger greenback made U.S. goods less attractive in international markets. The dollar climbed as a surge in U.S. retail sales led to speculation the Federal Reserve could boost interest rates by September.
Top wheat importer Egypt purchased 60,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia, providing fresh evidence that U.S. grain is uncompetitive in many global destinations.
“There’s no bullish news out there,” said Futures International analyst Terry Reilly. “The USDA reports were bearish and the dollar being strong is driving it as well.”
USDA in a monthly supply and demand report on Wednesday raised its winter wheat production forecast by 33 million bushels from the previous month, to 1.505 billion bushels, as rains late in the growing season lifted yields even as excess precipitation also stoked quality concerns.
Chicago Board of Trade July wheat early on Wednesday notched a two-month high, before running into resistance at its 200-day moving average and reversing. The contract finished 9-1/4 cents lower at $5.04-1/4 per bushel, bringing its two-day declines to five per cent (all figures US$).
CBOT July soybeans fell 9-1/2 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $9.40. CBOT July corn was off 3/4 cent at $3.56-1/2, lowest since June 4.
Soybeans and corn were further pressured by higher harvest estimates issued by Brazilian government supply agency Conab.
Global grain and oilseed supplies are plentiful, and growing conditions are largely favourable in the U.S. for the new corn and soybean crops.
“The theme across the complex is comfortable supplies and a generally benign crop outlook in the U.S. and around the world,” research firm Brock Associates said in a note.
Citing reduced ethanol production, USDA on Wednesday raised its 2015-16 ending stocks estimate for corn to 1.771 billion bushels from 1.746 billion bushels and its 2014-15 ending stocks view to 1.876 billion bushels from 1.851 billion bushels.
But it cut soybean ending stocks for the 2015-16 marketing year by 25 million bushels to 475 million bushels. For 2014-15, USDA also trimmed soy stocks to 330 million bushels from 350 million bushels.
— Michael Hirtzer reports on grain markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Manolo Serapio Jr. in Singapore.