Wheat Steadies After Pullback As Demand Stirs
Chicago and Paris wheat futures turned higher on Wednesday after a day-earlier slide, supported by fresh import demand in the face of dwindling northern hemisphere harvest prospects.
Corn ticked up while soybeans edged down as traders assessed results from a continuing U.S. crop tour.
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.5% at $7.52-1/4 a bushel by 1154 GMT.
The contract had shed over 3% on Tuesday in a pullback from last week's 8-1/2 year high.
On Paris-based Euronext, December wheat was up 1.1% at 245.50 euros ($287.70) a tonne after tumbling in the past two sessions as it also retreated from an 8-1/2 year peak. Chart support at $7.40 on CBOT and 240 euros on Euronext had encouraged the firmer trend on Wednesday, traders said. Wheat prices surged last week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made steep cuts to monthly world crop projections, fuelling global supply concerns.
Egypt, the world's top wheat importer, was holding an purchase tender on Wednesday, following a tender the previous day by Algeria. "Importing countries are taking advantage of these (price) downturns to position themselves," consultancy Agritel said.
Initial offers in Egypt's tender, as reported by traders, showed a relatively small number of participants and prices up sharply from its previous tender. Algeria was thought to have booked 230,000-250,000 tonnes in its tender.
It also reportedly indicated it would accept wheat with test weights - a measure of milling quality - below its usual minimum requirements, a move seen as adapting to a rain-damaged crop in major supplier France.
CBOT corn was up 0.2% to $5.64-3/4 a bushel. Soybeans were down 0.5% at $13.54-1/4, easing back from a two-week high touched on Tuesday.
Nebraska corn yield prospects are higher than last year and the three-year average, but soybean pod counts are down from a year ago, scouts on an annual U.S. field tour found on Tuesday. The soybean market has also been assessing demand, with a lull in domestic crushing set against a run of export sales to China.