U.S. grain futures edged mildly higher on Wednesday, but corn and wheat prices remained vulnerable to further losses after the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted a larger harvest than analysts had expected.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, corn futures for March delivery traded at USD4.3763 a bushel, up 0.25%. The March contract was trapped in a range between USD4.3438 a bushel and USD4.3788 a bushel.
CBOT March corn ended 0.46% lower on Tuesday to settle at USD4.3600 a bushel.
U.S. corn stockpiles are expected to total 1.792 billion bushels in the crop year ending August 31, down from a previous estimate of 1.887 billion bushels, but still significantly higher than 824 million a year earlier.
Global ending stocks of the grain were projected at 964.28 million metric tonnes, up from October’s estimate of 962.83 million tonnes.
Corn prices have been on a downward trend in recent months amid expectations this year’s corn harvest in the U.S. will be the largest on record. Prices of the grain slumped to a four-year low of USD4.1540 a bushel on November 8.
Elsewhere on the CBOT, wheat for March delivery traded at USD6.4288 a bushel, up 0.55%. Wheat prices traded in a range between USD6.3888 a bushel and USD6.4338 a bushel.
The March contract tumbled to USD6.3500 a bushel on Tuesday, the lowest since August 23, before settling at USD6.3860 a bushel, down 1.81%.
The USDA said that U.S. wheat stockpiles at the end of the current marketing year will be 575 million bushels, up from last month’s estimate of 565 million bushels.
The agency forecast global supplies of the grain at 182.8 million metric tons, up 2.4% from its October estimate and above expectations for 178.8 million tons, citing higher production in Canada and Australia.
The USDA made no changes to its forecast for U.S. wheat exports in the current season, leaving its projection at 1.1 billion bushels.
Meanwhile, soybeans futures for January delivery traded at USD13.4375 a bushel, up 0.4%. Prices of the oilseed held in a range between USD13.3613 a bushel and USD13.4413 a bushel.
The January soy contract ended down 0.41% on Tuesday to settle at USD13.3820 a bushel.
U.S. soybean stockpiles before next year''s harvest were forecast at 150 million bushels, down from the previous month’s estimate of 170 million bushels, due to larger crush and exports.
Analysts had expected the USDA to cut its forecast to 154 million bushels.
Global soybean production will reach a record 284.94 million tons, compared with 283.54 million forecast last month and up from 268.02 million a year earlier, due to increased production in Brazil and Argentina.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.
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