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Corn firms on demand hopes, but U.S. harvest curbs gains

Chicago corn futures bounced back on Wednesday as the prospect of strong demand underpinned prices, although a rapidly advancing U.S. harvest season kept a lid on gains.

Wheat rose for the first time in three sessions, while soybeans ticked lower.

The most-active corn contract on Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.4% at $5.34-1/2 a bushel, as of 0339 GMT, after dropping 1.3% in the previous session. Wheat rose 0.4% to $7.09-1/2 a bushel, while soybeans gave up 0.2% to trade at $12.74-1/4 a bushel.

U.S. soybean exports jumped last week to a six-month peak, while corn shipments were the highest in a month as Louisiana Gulf Coast terminals steadily ramped up operations disrupted nearly a month ago by Hurricane Ida, preliminary data showed on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said 18% of the nation’s corn had been cut, as of Sunday, along with 16% of the soybean crop, both slightly ahead of their respective five-year averages.

Traders are looking ahead to the USDA’s Sept. 30 quarterly stocks and annual reports on small grains. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the government to report U.S. Sept. 1 corn stocks at 1.155 billion bushels, below the 1.187 billion bushels that the USDA projected in its last monthly supply/demand report on Sept. 10.

Analysts on average pegged Sept. 1 soybean stocks at 174 million bushels, close to the 175 million bushels that the USDA projected on Sept. 10.

China’s corn prices are likely to fall in 2021/22 on good supplies of feed grains in the new year and expectations of a bumper harvest from the new corn crop, an analyst from a government institute said on Tuesday.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT wheat, soybean, corn, soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday, traders said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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