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Jul 17, 2013, 03.20 PM IST | Source: Investing.com

Grain futures steady after Tuesday's rally; U.S. weather in focus

Grain futures steady after Tuesday's rally; U.S. weather in focus

Investing.com - U.S. grain futures were little changed on Wednesday, with corn prices pausing after the previous session's sharp rally, as investors continued to focus on U.S. crop prospects.

Market players also continued to monitor weather conditions across grain-growing regions in the U.S. Midwest and in the Great Plains.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, corn futures for September delivery traded at USD5.4525 a bushel, down 0.1% on the day.

The September contract traded in a range between USD5.4888 a bushel, the daily high and a session low of USD5.4450 a bushel.

Corn prices rallied more than 1% on Tuesday, as concerns about the health of the U.S. crop fueled gains.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that 66% of the U.S. corn crop was rated in ‘good' to ‘excellent' condition as of last week, down from the 68% recorded in the preceding week.

Nearly 9% of the corn crop was in ‘poor' to ‘very poor' condition, up from 8% a week earlier.

Indications of improving demand for U.S. supplies also contributed to gains after the USDA said U.S. farmers sold 120,000 metric tons of corn to unknown destinations for delivery in the year that starts September 1.

Market participants commonly interpret listings of sales to "unknown destinations" as a sign of Chinese buying.

Meanwhile, soybeans futures for August delivery traded at USD14.7400 a bushel, down 0.1% on the day.

The August contract was stuck in a range between USD14.7250 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD14.8063 a bushel.

Soy prices rose sharply on Tuesday after the USDA said that approximately 26% of the U.S. soy crop bloomed as of last week, below the 63% recorded in the same week a year earlier.

The report also showed that nearly 65% of the soy crop was in ‘good' to ‘excellent' condition as of last week, down from 67% in the preceding week.

Elsewhere on the CBOT, wheat for September delivery traded at USD6.7113 a bushel, up 0.2% on the day. The September contract traded in a range between USD6.6738 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD6.7400 a bushel.

The USDA said that nearly 67% of the winter-wheat crop was harvested as of last week, compared to 81% harvested in the same week a year earlier and below the five-year average of 71% for this time of year.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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