Chicago corn rose to its highest in more than two weeks on Thursday, while soybeans climbed to a one-week high as brisk export demand and worries over storm damage in the Midwest countered pressure from big official harvest forecasts.
Wheat was little changed, holding near a one-month low, as ample global supplies hung over the market. In widely followed monthly forecasts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Wednesday U.S. farmers would reap a record corn harvest and a second-biggest soybean crop, buoyed by favourable weather.
However, selling pressure was limited after prices already touched multi-week lows in the past few days and with traders also focusing on Midwest storm damage as well as the USDA's increased projections for U.S. exports.
"Soybeans and corn are supported by strong import momentum," consultancy Agritel said, adding this demand was driven by China.
Traders will get an update on overseas demand from weekly U.S. export sales figures due at 1230 GMT.
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 1.6% at $3.32-1/2 a bushel at 1133 GMT, after earlier rising to its highest since July 27 at $3.33-1/2.
Corn Import Tariff
Traders said a recent slide in corn, which led the European Union this week to re-introduce a corn import tariff, had encouraged buying of U.S. supplies.
The market was also assessing the impact of Monday's storm, which came after the Aug. 1 cut-off point for crop conditions used by USDA for its August forecasts.
The storm potentially impacted some 10 million acres of farmland in Iowa, the top U.S. corn growing state, according to Iowa's authorities. CBOT soybeans rose 0.9% to $8.91-1/4 a bushel after climbing to their highest since Aug. 4 at $8.91-3/4. CBOT wheat inched down a quarter cent to $4.91 a bushel.
The wheat market was awaiting the outcome of a second import tender this week by Egypt, expected to confirm the competitiveness of Russian supplies.