Chicago soybean and corn futures rose for the first time in four sessions on Tuesday as expectations of policy action to curb economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak helped financial markets regain ground after a day-earlier drubbing.
Wheat was also firm, adding to a slight gain on Monday when chart-based buying helped it buck the general downward trend.
Grain markets were waiting for monthly supply and demand estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) later in the day, while also assessing Chinese demand as activity in the country resumes after drastic measures to contain the coronavirus that originated there.
"Everything, commodities and equities, was dragged down previously but today there is some buying. There is talk about stimulus, but we are not sure how stimulus is going to help at this point of time," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.
Oil and equity markets staged solid rebounds after Monday's dramatic losses that also reflected Saudi plans to launch a price war with rival oil exporter Russia.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who continued to play down the threat posed by the flu-like virus, said he would announce economic measures on Tuesday and would discuss a payroll tax cut with Congress to bolster the economy.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 1.0% at $8.78-1/2 a bushel by 1300 GMT, as it pulled away from Monday's six-month low of $8.67.
CBOT corn also added 1.0%, to $3.76-1/2 a bushel, while wheat gained 0.8% to $5.23 a bushel.
The USDA on Monday confirmed a relatively modest sale of U.S. soybeans, saying private exporters sold 123,500 tonnes of the oilseed to unknown destinations.
However, analysts remained cautious about the scope for an immediate ramp-up in Chinese purchases of the U.S. crop following a trade deal with Washington.
"A record-high soybean crop is just being harvested and loaded in Brazil," Commerzbank said in a note.
"At the moment, U.S. soybeans are more expensive even if they fall within the first tariff-exempt import contingents that have now been allocated."
However, a selling strike by farmers in Argentina, another exporter of soybeans, could potentially disrupt supply there. Argentine growers are protesting at their government's move to raise export taxes for soybeans and byproducts.
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