Band Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, April 14 (Reuters) – U.S. corn futures hit contract-life highs on Thursday, buoyed by global tightening grain supplies and an uncertain production outlook as the Russian-Ukrainian war continues to rattle markets, analysts said.
However, trade was choppy and corn contracts postponed finished lower as traders took profits ahead of a three-day holiday weekend. US markets will be closed on Good Friday.
Soy ended mixed, with the most active contracts in May and July moving higher. But wheat futures fell after a four-day rise.
Chicago Board of Trade May Corn CK2 settled 6-3/4 cents at $7.90-1/4 a bushel after posting a contract high at $7.93. New harvest December CZ2 corn, representing the 2022 crop, finished down 1/2 cent at $7.35-1/4.
CBOT May soybeans SK2 settled 6-1/4 cents at $16.82-1/4 a bushel, while May wheat WK2 ended down 17 cents at $10.96-1/2 a bushel.
For the week, CBOT May corn CK2 rose 2.8%, may wheat WK2 rose 4.3% and May soybeans SK2 fell 0.4%.
Traders will be watching weather forecasts over the long weekend after a cool spring in the US Midwest raised fears of planting delays. The US Department of Agriculture said the corn crop was planted at 2% as of April 10, below the five-year average of 3%.
“It looks like there will be a planting window later next week in part of the eastern corn belt, so maybe we’ll roll some planters in,” said DC president Dan Cekander. Analysis.
Concerns over a truckers’ strike in Argentina supported the outlook. Talks to end the strike broke down on Wednesday, posing a threat to corn and soybean exports during the South American harvest season.
Argentina’s grain export chamber said failure to reach an agreement would “seriously harm” exporters to the world’s largest shipper of soy and non-soy products. 2 corn supplier.
Wheat futures fell on profit taking, turning lower atnear the CBOT May contract WK2 reached a three-week high in the early movements. But Concerns over the crisis in Ukraine, as well as drought in the US Plains winter wheat belt, supported prices.
The war between Russia and Ukraine, two major grain producers and exporters, is raging, driving up world grain prices.
“Markets remain extremely nervous, with a risk that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia will drag on,” French consultancy Agritel said in a note.
(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; Additional reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton in Beijing and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, David Holmes, Grant McCool and Shinjini Ganguli)
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