PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago wheat futures turned higher on Wednesday from a one-week low earlier in the session as importer demand countered supply pressure from a resumption of sea exports from war-torn Ukraine.
Corn edged up as traders assessed the chances of continiuing flows from Ukraine while monitoring mixed weather conditions for U.S. crops. Soybeans also ticked higher but remained capped by weaker crude oil prices and wider macroeconomic concerns.
The most active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 1.9% at $7.89-1/2 a bushel by 1129 GMT. Wheat, corn and soybeans fell sharply in the two previous sessions as the departure of a grain cargo from Odesa in Ukraine tempered global supply fears while U.S. crop ratings were better than expected.
However, the wheat market experienced a flurry of demand on Tuesday, with Algeria and Jordan booking optional-origin wheat while buyers in the Philippines, South Korea, Tunisia and Japan tendered to buy wheat. Algeria's purchase, which traders put at more than 700,000 tonnes in updated assessments on Wednesday, helped Paris-based Euronext wheat futures bounce from late trading on Tuesday.
"The physical market remains tense, especially for French-origin wheat," consultancy Agritel said. The first grain vessel to leave a Ukrainian sea port since the start of the war was inspected in Turkey on Wednesday before its onward journey to Lebanon, but Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy said this was only a fraction of what Kyiv needed to export.
"The price direction will depend on how much wheat and corn actually comes out of Ukraine in the coming weeks," one Singapore-based trader said. CBOT corn gained 0.3% to $5.96-1/4 a bushel and CBOT soybeans edged up by 0.2% to $13.89 a bushel.
Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday showed an improved weekly rating for soybean crops and steady corn conditions, countering trade expectations for downgrades after a hot week in the Midwest.
Traders are monitoring hot, dry weather in parts of the U.S. crop belt ahead of monthly USDA production forecasts next week. Commodity brokerage StoneX projected U.S. 2022 corn production at 14.417 billion bushels, with an average yield of 176.0 bushels per acre (bpa). The company estimated this year's U.S. soybean harvest at 4.490 billion bushels, with an average yield of 51.3 bpa. The figures for both crops fell just below the USDA's current projections.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and David Goodman )