Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybean and corn futures eased on Thursday, pressured by a firming dollar and fears of food price inflation, though concerns of hot, dry weather in growing areas offered support, traders said.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 13-1/4 cents to $15.49-1/4 per bushel, while new-crop November soybeans dipped 10-1/4 cents to $14.03-1/2 (all figures US$).
CBOT’s most-active corn ended 13 cents lower at $6.62 per bushel, while new-crop December corn eased 6-1/4 cents to $5.66-1/2.
CBOT wheat eased 10-3/4 cents to $6.76-1/4 per bushel.
The U.S. dollar climbed 0.65 per cent on Thursday on reports that May saw a jump in the number of newly-employed Americans, according to payroll company ADP, while the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said world food prices climbed to their highest level since September 2011.
While inflationary pressures could soften grain markets, weather remains the focus in the coming weeks, according to Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.
“Those demand issues and inflation issues mean a lot less if we can’t get the rains we’re expected to get in the next 10 days,” said Zuzolo.
Hot and dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest caused concern for newly planted corn and soybean crops, though it remains early in the growing season.
“We’re drifting, looking for overall direction. We have a very well-rated corn crop and likely a very good bean crop,” said Ted Seifried, vice president of Zaner Group.
Slower soybean planting progress is also supporting the market, Seifried said, as analysts await the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s June 30 acreage report.
“We’re not ripping in these beans quite as fast as we put in the corn,” he said.
Global corn and soybean stocks are in focus as Brazil struggles with its worst water crisis in nearly a century, impacting crops and river navigation in the world’s largest exporter of commodities.
“I think the reality of the tightness in the bean market has come back into play, and beans had a little catching up to do. I think they’re well supported,” said Chuck Shelby, president of Risk Management Commodities.
Wheat followed corn lower, though dryness and above-average temperatures across the U.S. Plains offered support.
In Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko told Reuters that the country’s new formula-based grain export taxes would remain in place as long as there is increased global demand for food.
— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral.