CHICAGO: US wheat futures rose about 3 percent on Friday and bounced back from multi-month lows a day earlier, buoyed by short-covering and indications that US wheat was becoming more competitive globally, analysts said.
Corn futures also rose, rebounding from Thursday’s two-week low, and soybeans rallied from a one-month low.
As of 12:43 p.m. CDT (1743 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat was up 15-1/4 cents at $5.02-1/2 per bushel. CBOT December corn was up 7 cents at $3.68 a bushel and November soybeans were up 4 cents at $8.45-3/4 a bushel.
Wheat led the way up, supported by news that two cargoes of US soft red winter wheat were offered at the cheapest price in an international Egyptian purchase tender, excluding freight costs. However, the inclusion of freight offers made Russian wheat the cheapest on a landed basis.
Still, traders were encouraged by US wheat’s presence in the collection of offers as they awaited results of the tender.
“US wheat is again competitive on the world market,” Arlan Suderman, INTL FCStone chief commodities economist, wrote in a note to clients.
Export demand for US wheat has been sluggish but some analysts expect a pick-up in demand in the coming months as supplies dwindle from top world supplier Russia.
Wheat futures also climbed on short-covering, a day after the CBOT December contract dipped to $4.85-1/2, its lowest since January and the lowest for a most-active contract since mid-July.
CME Group data showed that open interest in CBOT wheat futures rose by more than 20,000 contracts as prices slumped on Thursday, an indication of traders establishing new short positions.
As well, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics cut its 2018-19 wheat forecast to about 16.6 million tonnes, down from its September estimate of 19.1 million.
“There may be enough folks who have piled on shorts here … that people got a little carried away, and we’re bouncing back,” said Rich Feltes, vice president for research with R.J. O’Brien, adding, “That Australia number is supportive.”
CBOT corn rose roughly 2 percent, following strength in wheat and concerns about tightening global grain supplies.
“Fund managers have been looking to buy what they feel will be a multi-year low in corn,” Suderman said, adding, “Reports of modest yield losses from this month’s adverse (US) weather give some confidence that perhaps the most bearish news is behind us.”
CBOT soybeans followed the firm trend, drawing support as the US Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 260,000 tonnes of US soybeans to unknown destinations.
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