Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn futures climbed on Wednesday for a second day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut crop ratings on Monday afternoon, though beneficial rainfall across parts of the upper U.S. Midwest limited gains.
Soybeans ended higher after the market made its biggest daily gain since late June on Tuesday, with hot and dry forecasts being tempered by the rains.
Wheat inched lower, buoyed by faltering wheat production in the Black Sea region.
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 6-1/2 cents to $5.51-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).
Soybeans gained one cent to $13.32-3/4 a bushel, having firmed around three per cent on Tuesday while wheat eased 6-3/4 cents to $7.25-1/2 a bushel.
Trade volume was light as a lack of daily export notices or dramatic weather activity failed to inspire the grain markets, according to Joe Davis, director of commodity sales at Futures International.
“There’s no real impetus to get us moving higher,” Davis said. “I think we’re in for a range-bound market.”
USDA reported on Monday a weekly decline in crop conditions as severely hot weather was forecast for the heart of the Midwest crop belt.
Dryness over the next six months in Argentina is expected to reduce the size of the country’s corn and soy crops, while complicating navigation of grain cargo ships on the Parana River, analysts said.
Soybeans were supported by recent export activity, though overnight rains limited any movement higher.
“The weather forecast probably gave people pause — we could see some improvement out here. That’s going to blunt some of the speculative fervour,” said Dale Durchholz, principal at Grain Cycles.
Ahead of USDA’s weekly export sales report, due Thursday morning, a Reuters poll of analysts estimated export sales of 400,000 to 1.25 million tonnes of corn, 1.2 million to 2.125 million tonnes of soybeans and 200,000 to 600,000 tonnes of wheat.
— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.