NEW YORK: Chicago soybean and wheat futures fell on Wednesday, and corn futures firmed as the markets turned their attention to widely-followed US government crop forecasts.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) fell by about 1% to $12.58 a bushel by 11:17 a.m. CDT (1617 GMT), nearing a two-year. CBOT wheat was down about 0.85% at $5.53-3/4 a bushel and CBOT corn rose by a little more than a cent to $4.87 a bushel.
Grain market participants were adjusting positions ahead of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Oct. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, in which the USDA is expected to trim its US corn and soybean harvest forecasts.
“I think this is a stable area for beans right now,” said Steve Erdman of brokerage EFG Group in Chicago. He said that even if the USDA reported higher soybean yields, “the US supply-demand is tight enough right now, it’s going to be very difficult to break beans much further.”
Soybeans also drew some support from a rise in weekly US export inspection volumes, reported on Tuesday, although competition from a record harvest in top exporter Brazil continued to cap prices. Underscoring some of that export demand, the USDA on Wednesday reported export sales of 121,000 metric tons of soybeans to buyers in China, and another 213,000 tons sold to unknown buyers.
Wheat prices were approaching a near three-year low, after reports by traders of a purchase of Russian wheat by Egypt, estimated at around 480,000 tons, put the focus back on a hefty surplus in Russia. Steps by Ukraine to revive sea exports were also tempering concerns about war disruption to the country’s grain trade.
Data from Ukraine’s agricultural ministry on Wednesday showed grain exports are down 27.6% so far in the 2023/24 July-June season, compared with the same period of 2022/23.