Chicago soybean and corn futures edged higher on Wednesday as traders assessed weather prospects for U.S. and South American crops while awaiting a government report for a further indication on tight global supplies.
Wheat was steady with support from corn. Lower than expected estimates of U.S. soy and corn planting in a 31 March government report, coupled with delays to soybean harvesting and corn planting in Brazil, have kept prices underpinned.
"Soybeans are getting strength after the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) showed plantings this year below expectations," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. "Going forward, prices will get direction from the U.S. weather as the growing season gets underway, but as of now we don't see any major issues."
Price movements were limited as investors turned their attention from last week's USDA planting report, which helped push corn futures to their highest since 2013, to the USDA's monthly supply-and-demand outlook on Friday.
The most active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.2% at $14.21-1/4 a bushel by 1051 GMT. Brazil in on track for a record soybean crop this year, although harvesting and shipments have been delayed by rains.
Delays In Soy Harvest
For corn, Brazil's second-crop yields will fall by an estimated 3.6% this year, as most growers were forced to plant outside the ideal climate window after the delays in the soy harvest, Agroconsult said.
Corn crops are also now facing dry conditions in parts of Brazil, adding to uncertainty about current forecasts for a bumper harvest. "As China continues to import (...) there is very little room for a climatic incident in Brazil," consultancy Agritel said, referring to corn.
"There is all the more uncertainty as the planting period starts in the northern hemisphere."
CBOT corn added 0.5% to $5.56-3/4 a bushel, while wheat was unchanged on the day at $6.15-1/2 bushel.
Strength in corn has helped Chicago wheat consolidate above a 2021 low struck last week. The return of some importers to buying has lent some support to wheat, although Tuesday's tender by Egypt showed strong competition from new-crop Russian wheat despite the country's export tax.