Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures surged more than six per cent on Thursday in a technical-buying and short-covering bounce from one-month lows and as strong demand for feed grains supported prices.
Soybeans followed corn higher, rising for the first time in eight sessions after hitting the lowest point in a month in the prior day.
Wheat futures rose for the first time in nine sessions, propelled by short-covering and technical buying and concerns about the recently planted spring wheat crop due to a severe drought in the northern Plains.
Chicago Board of Trade July corn jumped by its 40-cent daily trading limit to $6.64-1/2 per bushel (all figures US$). The 6.4 per cent gain was the largest for a most-active corn contract since June 2015.
July soybeans were up 33-1/2 cents at $15.37 a bushel and CBOT July wheat added 27-3/4 cents to $6.76-1/4 a bushel.
Corn and soybeans gained despite largely favourable U.S. Midwest crop weather and forecasts for more beneficial rains in the coming days.
“We’re seeing some speculative buying coming into the market. The weather really doesn’t justify this rally in new-crop corn and soybeans, but the demand is still there,” said Brian Hoops, president of U.S. brokerage Midwest Market Solutions.
Corn drew support from strong export demand, notably for new-crop shipments to China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday confirmed more than 5.6 million tonnes in new-crop corn sales to China last week.
The weekly USDA export sales report also did not show large-scale Chinese cancellations of old-crop corn purchases, as has been rumoured in the market this week.
In addition, USDA on Thursday morning confirmed private sales of 152,400 tonnes of new-crop corn to undisclosed buyers via its daily reporting system.
— Reporting for Reuters by Karl Plume in Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.