U.S. wheat futures fell more than 2.5% on Wednesday as fears eased about the potential for widespread crop damage after recent heavy rains, pushing prices to a near one-week low.
Corn dropped 2% and soybeans dipped 0.6%. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 2.6% at $4.94 -1/4 a bushel by 1040 GMT. It earlier hit a session low of $4.93, the lowest since 30 May. In the previous session, wheat lost 2.4%.
"The market was worried about crop damage after the recent heavy rains but the U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report showed an improvement in the quality," said Angus Thornton, a commodities analyst with Profarmer.
The USDA said 64% of U.S. winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, up from 61% last week and ahead of expectations of 59%. The fall on U.S. markets pushed European wheat futures down, with front-month September falling as much as 2% before paring losses. The contract was trading 1.8% lower by 1040 GMT at 179.25 euros per tonne, still well below the psychological mark of 180 euros.
The most-active corn futures were down 2% at $4.16-3/4 a bushel after closing up 0.2% on Tuesday. Despite the fall, analysts said corn remained underpinned by concerns over slow planting in the United States. The USDA said in a report after the market close on Monday that U.S. corn planting was 67% complete, below market expectations of 71% and well below the average pace of 96% at this time of year.
The most-active soybean futures were down 0.6% at $8.76-1/4 a bushel, having closed up 0.3% on Tuesday. The USDA said U.S. soybean planting was 39% complete, below market expectations of 42% and significantly below the average pace of 79%.