Corn nears 10-year high; wheat, soy up - CBOT

2% of US corn planting complete
calendar icon 15 April 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

US corn futures hit their highest in nearly 10 years on Wednesday and wheat touched a three-week top on worries about tightening global grain supplies, the crisis in Ukraine and drought in the US Plains, analysts said.

Soybeans bounced, shaking off signs of slowing demand from top global buyer China, while soyoil futures soared on strong global vegetable oil prices and rising crude oil futures, reflecting its role as a feedstock for soy-based biodiesel fuel, reported Reuters.

Speculators continued steering funds into grains, crude oil and other commodities as a hedge against inflation, analysts said.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) May corn settled up 7-1/4 cents at $7.83-1/2 per bushel after reaching $7.86-1/4, the highest on a continuous chart of the most-active contract since September 2012.

CBOT May wheat ended up 9-3/4 cents at $11.13-1/2 a bushel after reaching $11.24-1/4, its highest since March 23.

May soybeans rose 5-3/4 cents to finish at $16.76 a bushel, and May soyoil finished at 78.11 cents per pound after surging to 78.75 cents, an all-time high on a continuous chart of the most-active soyoil contract.

Wheat, corn and soybeans all turned higher after sagging earlier in the session. Wheat rebounded after the May contract failed to match Tuesday's low of $10.75 a bushel, and the focus returned to fundamental factors including conflict between Russia and Ukraine, both major world grain exporters.

"When you look at the dry weather in the Great Plains and the war of attrition going on in Ukraine ... the profit-taking did not last too long. All we did was test support, and it held," said Jack Scoville with the Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Wheat export business picked up with Egypt buying 350,000 tonnes of wheat and Algeria booking about 120,000 tonnes of optional-origin milling wheat.

Corn futures fell early as traders booked profits ahead of a three-day holiday weekend, with US markets closed on Friday. But worries about a slow start to planting in the Midwest helped lift values.

"The back months in corn are still being supported not only by the Ukraine situation, but the wet and cold weather in the US over the next few days," said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International. The US Department of Agriculture said corn planting was 2% complete by Sunday, and Reilly said progress might only reach 4% by the end of this week.

Soybeans turned higher, despite news that China's March soybean imports were down 18% compared to a year earlier.

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