Chicago | Reuters — Forecasts for rain in the U.S. Midwest pushed corn and soybean futures lower on Tuesday, traders said.
New-crop December corn, which tracks the crop that farmers will harvest in the fall, notched the biggest decline. The contract sagged 3.2 per cent as the storms are expected to provide a much-needed boost to soil moisture just as the crop enters its key development phase.
“It has been very dry but dryness in the early stages that we have been in is much less meaningful than dryness in pollination that is coming up here in the next couple of weeks,” said Ben Buie, grain team leader at MaxYield Cooperative. “We are really hitting the crucial time.”
Spring wheat futures surged to their highest level in nearly two weeks after a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report that pegged the condition of crops below market forecasts stoked concerns about global supplies. Winter wheat contracts were weaker, pressured by the advancing U.S. harvest.
MGEX spring wheat for September delivery settled up 15-1/4 cents at $7.82-3/4 a bushel, peaking at its highest price since June 8 (all figures US$).
CBOT September soft red winter wheat was down 10 cents at $6.55 a bushel after hitting overnight its highest level since June 14. USDA said just 27 per cent of the spring wheat crop was in good-to-excellent shape — a 10-point drop — a rating that was well below expectations.
“The production outlook for high-protein wheat continues to dim,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
CBOT December corn futures were down 18 cents at $5.39 a bushel.
Although most corn contracts ended in negative territory, the front-month July contract settled up 1/2 cent at $6.59-3/4, with tight supplies in the country underpinning prices.
CBOT November soybeans were down 17 cents at $13.02-1/4 a bushel.
— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago; additional reporting by Colin Packham in Canberra.