PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago corn and soybean futures lost more ground on Wednesday, pressured by expectations of beneficial rains in parts of the U.S. Midwest while wheat rose to a one week high on strong demand as the market waited for details on a Ukrainian export deal.
"The market was abashed by the USDA's (U.S. Department of Agriculture) steady U.S. corn crop conditions survey so that weighed on prices," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Also weighing on prices was weather models' indicating more favourable projections of the U.S. Midwest."
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) lost 0.4% to $5.92-3/4 a bushel, by 1033 GMT, and soybeans gave up 0.7% to $13.48-1/2 a bushel. Corn and soybeans are being weighed down by forecasts pointing to beneficial rains in parts of the U.S. Midwest crop belt next week, which could bolster yields. A weekly report showed stabilising U.S. crop conditions.
The USDA late on Monday rated 64% of the U.S. corn crop in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week, while analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected a decline of one percentage point. Wheat rose 2.4% to $8.32 a bushel after hitting $8.43-1/2 in earlier trade, a price last seen on July 12.
Traders remained dubious about a deal to export more grains out of Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wanted the remaining curbs on Russian grain exports to be removed.
"The question is how, if and how much. Details and conditions on a deal (to allow Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea) are still unclear," a French trader said.
Unsold grain stocks have piled up in Ukraine as the country has not been able to access its Black Sea ports since Russia's invasion in February. While some crops have left by rail or road through neighbours including Romania and Poland, millions of tonnes are struck on farms.
Egypt's state grains buyer GASC cancelled its international tender for wheat with no purchase made, as offer prices were higher than estimates but launched a new one, open to all origins, to be purchased in direct talks.
Other major buyers including Pakistan and Jordan were also in the market. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean, soyoil, soymeal and wheat futures contracts on Tuesday, traders said.
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)