SINGAPORE: Chicago corn prices inched up on Thursday but lingered near a five-week low, pressured by forecasts for higher US inventories.
Wheat gained some ground after the previous session’s losses, while soybeans rose for the first time in five days.
Corn prices are being held up as they have reached the low end of their range and usually touch their weakest levels during the year in September, said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 0.3% to $5.13-3/4 a bushel, as of 0312 GMT, after dropping to its lowest since Sept. 10 in the last session at $5.06-3/4 a bushel.
Soybeans gained 0.4% to $12.00-1/4 a bushel and wheat rose 0.4% to $7.21-1/4 a bushel.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday estimated both corn and soybean crops, currently being harvested, above expectations.
China’s soybean imports in September fell 30% from the previous year, customs data showed on Wednesday, as poor crush margins curbed demand.
However, the availability of supplies from the ongoing US harvest is expected to trigger some renewed Chinese demand going forward, traders have said.
US exporters sold 330,000 tonnes of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2021/2022 marketing year, and 161,544 tonnes of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the same period, according to the USDA.
US soybean crushings likely fell to a three-month low in September, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due on Friday.
NOPA members, who handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, were expected to have crushed 155.072 million bushels of soybeans in September, according to the average of estimates from 10 analysts.
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday lowered its forecast of French soft wheat stocks by the end of the 2021/22 season due to a cut in the crop estimate, but kept its forecast of exports outside the European Union unchanged.
Iran needs to buy a record 8 million tonnes of wheat in the current season, industry sources said, after its domestic crop was hit by drought, while the jump in imports will coincide with high global grain prices adding to pressures on the country’s finances.
Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, beans, soymeal and wheat futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said. Funds were seen as net buyers of soyoil futures.