Corn and Wheat Firm As Crop Risks Persist
Chicago corn futures edged higher on Thursday and wheat rebounded as heavy rain in US grain belts continued to pose risks to crops.
Price movements were moderate, however, with corn and wheat holding below multi-month highs struck earlier this week.
Investors sought more indications about the impact of excess moisture on corn planting and the upcoming winter wheat harvest, while also factoring in large global supplies.
Soybeans and Grain
Soybeans edged lower as traders awaited details of a second round of US government aid for farmers affected by a trade dispute with China that has curbed US soybean shipments.
Grain markets were also watching for weekly US export data at 12:30am GMT for an update on overseas demand.
The most active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.5% at $3.96-1/2 a bushel by 11:26am GMT.
It had reached a one-year high at $3.99 on Tuesday after a seven-session rally before consolidating on Wednesday. CBOT wheat was up 1.1% at $4.78 a bushel.
It had closed down more than 1% on Wednesday when it retreated from a three-month high touched on Tuesday.
Soybeans ticked up 0.3% to $8.30-3/4 a bushel, having seen a technical bounce on Wednesday.
Grain markets have been rattled by forecasts for heavy rain this week in parts of the US.
Midwest and Plains that threatens to deepen corn planting delays and damage some maturing winter wheat. More showers are expected next week.
The weather risks encouraged a wave of covering by investment funds holding large short positions, before a lull on Wednesday.
The US Department of Agriculture said on Monday that a lower-than-expected 49% of the US corn crop has been planted, the slowest pace on record, based on data going back to 1980.
Soybeans were 19% planted, also short of market expectations. Chicago wheat drew some support from Euronext's Paris-based futures, which rebounded on Thursday.
Russian government forecasts for the upcoming 2019/20 season tempered expectations for bumper supplies in the world's biggest wheat exporting country.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut said on Thursday that Russia was expected to harvest 75 million tonnes of wheat, below the expectations of other forecasters, while wheat exports were projected to be 1 million tonnes lower than this season.