- Market weighs better weather forecast, recent Midwest dryness.
- Soybeans pressured by May crush data, fresh veg oil slide.
- Wheat steadies after slide on global harvest outlook.
PARIS/SINGAPORE: Chicago corn futures inched up on Wednesday, consolidating after two-week lows a day earlier, as investors weighed forecasts for welcome rain and milder temperatures in the Midwest against the risks of persisting dryness for crops.
Wheat steadied with corn after also touching its lowest since late May on Tuesday following favourable prospects for global production.
Soybeans extended losses to a near two-month low, as lower than expected US crushing activity in May and a fresh slide in vegetable oil prices added to pressure from the improved Midwest weather outlook.
Grain markets have focused this week on forecasts pointing to widespread rain and an easing in heat from late this week, outweighing a sharper than expected decline in corn and soybean crop ratings last week.
"A cooler/wetter weather pattern will soon arrive across key US crop regions, though heat/dryness risks will remain in the forecast to some extent regionally," Isaac Hankes, senior weather research analyst at Refinitiv, said in a note.
Market participants are also awaiting a clearer picture of US corn and soybean plantings in an end-June government acreage report, after previous area projections in March were lower than expected.
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.3% at $6.69-3/4 a bushel, as of 1127 GMT. New-crop December corn edged up 0.2%.
CBOT wheat added 0.4% to $6.64-1/4 a bushel. Soybeans were down 0.7% at $14.55-1/2 a bushel after earlier reaching their lowest since April 20.
The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said its members crushed 163.5 million bushels of soybeans in May, up from 160.3 million in April but below an average of analyst expectations for 165.1 million bushels.
Despite a slow start to US winter wheat harvesting and drought in spring wheat zones, good global production prospects, including in the Black Sea exporting region, were capping prices.