U.S. corn futures jumped 2.3% to a 7-1/2-year high on Wednesday, with the market focused on prospects for tight global supplies after the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut production estimates for the United States, Brazil and Argentina (USDA)
"The number on corn was a game changer yesterday," said Dan Smith, senior risk manager at Top Third Ag Marketing.
Soybean futures eased on profit taking after hitting their highest in 6-1/2 years, while wheat steadied as the market digested potential changes to Russian export policy.
At 9:40 a.m. CST (1540 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) March corn futures were up 11-3/4 cents at $5.29 a bushel. Following its limit-up move on Tuesday, the most-active contract surged to $5.41-1/2 a bushel, its highest since 28 June, 2013, during the overnight trading session.
"The USDA's seemingly unending cuts to U.S. G&O (grain and oilseed) supplies continued this month, and with soybean and corn stores particularly bare, it seems only a matter of time before cuts shift to demand," Rabobank said in a note.
'Below Trade Expectations'
The USDA revised downwards its estimate of 2020/21 U.S. corn production to below trade expectations and lowered its outlook for ending stocks.
CBOT March soybeans were down 7 cents at $14.11-1/4 a bushel.
"We are ... off the highs but people have to realize that we are $5.50 off the bottom," Top Third's Smith said. "We are going to see some corrective action in here."
Investors shrugged off a USDA announcement on Wednesday morning that private exporters reported the sale of 464,300 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations, the biggest daily soybean sale since June.
CBOT March soft red winter wheat was down 3/4 cent at $6.64-1/4 a bushel.
Russia is to discuss this week possible changes to a planned wheat export tax amid reports it could raise the levy.