U.S. grains: Corn, soy, wheat fall sharply on profit taking

'We just ran out of bullish news'

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn, soybean and wheat futures posted sharp losses on Wednesday on a round of long liquidation by investment funds after all three commodities rallied to multi-year highs in 2021, traders said.

“We have really run this market up hard,” said Ben Buie, grain team leader at MaxYield Cooperative in West Bend, Iowa. “We just ran out of bullish news and the market kind of ran out of steam.”

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures notched the biggest loss, sagging 3.9 per cent, with traders noting further pressure from a U.S. Agriculture Department announcement that unknown buyers canceled an export deal for 132,000 tonnes of U.S. corn.

CBOT March corn ended down 21-3/4 cents at $5.34-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).

Corn futures have dropped 5.2 per cent since USDA on Tuesday projected bigger-than-expected domestic ending stocks.

“Anyone who had betted that the latest forecasts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would show another dramatic tightening of the grains and oilseeds markets, which were already in short supply, was disappointed yesterday,” Commerzbank said in a note.

CBOT March soybeans were 47-3/4 cents lower at $13.54 a bushel and CBOT March wheat was off 14 cents at $6.35-1/2 a bushel.

Soybeans dropped through key technical benchmarks, closing below the 30-day moving average for the first time since Aug. 12, 2020.

The advancing soy harvest in South America added pressure, with traders saying U.S. exporters will finally have some competition as crops from Brazil and Argentina hit the market.

“The weather in Brazil has given the farmer a bit of a window to ramp up harvest this week, as we have seen only scattered showers over the northern bean areas, with the south mostly – and blessedly – dry,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital, said in a research note.

Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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