Corn steadies while soybeans near multi-year peak

Soybeans and wheat firm after retreating on Monday

  
Corn plants are seen on a farmland in Chivilcoy, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina April 8, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Corn plants are seen on a farmland in Chivilcoy, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina April 8, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

PARIS/SINGAPORE- Chicago corn futures edged higher on Tuesday, consolidating after a steep pullback a day earlier, as the market turned its attention to U.S. government forecasts for a gauge of tightening grain stocks.

Some better signs for crops, with U.S. wheat ratings improving last week and rain set to reach some parched corn belts in Brazil, encouraged investors to take a breather after a frenetic rally that took corn to an eight-year high on Friday.

Wheat also steadied after tumbling with corn on Monday, while soybeans ticked up to draw close to Friday's 8-1/2 year peak as tight U.S. supplies continued to underpin the oilseed market.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 1.2% at $7.20-1/4 a bushel at 1226 GMT.

It had slid nearly 3% on Monday, retreating from Friday's high of $7.35-1/4, a level not seen since March 2013.

Rapidly progressing U.S. planting, beneficial moisture in the U.S. Midwest and forecast showers in a portion of Brazil's dry south all contributed to Monday's pullback in corn.

Market participants are now watching for Wednesday's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will give its first global outlook for 2021/22.

"The market is particularly nervous ahead of the first global USDA forecasts for 2021/22," Commerzbank said, adding that Brazilian forecasting agency Conab will also update crop estimates on Wednesday.

Consultancy AgRural on Monday said it had cut its estimate for the country's second corn crop in the Center South region owing to drought, adding to expectations that Brazilian corn output will be below last year's. 

The USDA said after Monday's market close that U.S. farmers had planted 67% of their intended corn acres as of Sunday, matching the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts. 

CBOT soybeans were up 0.6% at $15.96-3/4 a bushel after reaching their highest since October 2012 at $15.99-1/2 on Friday.

CBOT wheat was up 1% at $7.38 a bushel.

The USDA rated 49% of the U.S. winter wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition, up 1 point from the previous week. Analysts on average had expected no change.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and David Goodman ) ((gus.trompiz@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: gus.trompiz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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