Corn near 8-year high on supply concerns, wheat rebounds after sharp drop


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SINGAPORE — Chicago corn futures were little changed on Tuesday, trading near the previous session’s eight-year high on global supply worries although a rapid pace of U.S. planting curbed gains.

Wheat gained ground after dropping more than 2% on Monday, while soybeans ticked higher.

“Asian buyers are not chasing high global corn prices,” said one Singapore-based feed grain trader. “Importers are waiting for the U.S. government’s supply-demand report due next week for a price direction. High prices are likely to prompt U.S. farmers to plant more corn.”

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was unmoved at $6.79-1/2 a bushel by 0330 GMT, after hitting a March 2013 high of $6.98 a bushel on Monday.

Wheat climbed 0.7% to $7.22-3/4 a bushel, after closing down 2.3% in the previous session, and soybeans rose 0.1% to $15.25-1/2 a bushel.

As of Sunday, 46% of the United States’ corn plantings were complete, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a weekly report, topping analysts’ expectations of 44%.

That was up from 17% a week earlier and ahead of the five-year average of 36%.

In Iowa, the top U.S. corn-producing state, farmers were able to plant almost half of the state’s expected corn crop during the week ended May 2, for a total of 69% planted, according to the USDA.

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Nationwide soybean planting was 24% complete, compared to analysts’ estimates for 25%.

In Brazil, the 2020/2021 second corn crop is estimated at 72.7 million tonnes, compared with 77.65 million tonnes previously, according to broker StoneX.

Meanwhile, agricultural markets research firm SovEcon on Monday revised up its forecast for Ukraine’s 2021 wheat crop to a record 28.6 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 27.8 million tonnes and 24.9 million tonnes harvested in 2020.

SovEcon said Ukraine might also harvest a record high 36.6 million tonnes of corn this year versus 30.3 million tonnes in 2020.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Monday, traders said. They were seen as net buyers of soyoil contracts and even in corn. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)