CHICAGO: US wheat futures fell about 1% on Wednesday in a profit-taking setback as the dollar firmed and Wall Street equity markets sagged, analysts said.
But worries about tightening global grain stocks underpinned the grains, keeping wheat as well as corn and soyabean futures near multi-year highs set this month.
As of 1:05 p.m. CST (1905 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade March wheat was down 7 cents at $6.58-1/4 per bushel.
CBOT March corn was up 1-1/2 cents at $5.33-3/4 a bushel, paring gains after reaching $5.43-3/4, the highest price in a continuous chart of the most-active contract since June 2013. March soyabeans were up 5-1/4 cents at $13.75-1/2 a bushel.
Wheat futures eased after climbing in recent days on news of export curbs in Russia, the world’s top supplier of the food grain. Officials in Argentina, another exporter, are also considering how to ensure domestic supplies.
An upturn in the dollar weighed on futures, making US grain less competitive on the world market, and Wall Street’s dip further dampened sentiment.
The US Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 680,000 tonnes of US corn to China, following sales of 1.36 million tonnes to China announced a day earlier.
The USDA also confirmed sales of 132,000 tonnes of US soyabeans to China and another 126,500 tonnes of soyabeans to unknown destinations.
Huge Chinese demand for grains has eroded available supply in the United States and other grain exporters such as Ukraine, making the market nervous about any potential harvest setbacks in South America.