JAKARTA: Chicago wheat and corn futures edged higher on Thursday after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) cut its forecast on global grains and soy end-stocks in 2024/2025 from its estimate in May.

Corn extended gains for a second day and wheat recouped losses from the previous session, while soybeans extended their downward trend.

“With the USDA releases not offering any major surprises, grains prices expected to remain under pressure.

All eyes will be on the June 28 acreage numbers and Russian weather outlook for the next fortnight,“ a Vietnam-based trader said.

The US Federal Reserve’s projection of fewer rate cuts this year also dampened optimism of increased demand, the trader said.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.3% at $6.18-3/4 a bushel, as of 0259 GMT, after losing 1.5% on Wednesday.

Corn rose 0.3% to $4.55-3/4 a bushel and soybeans slid 0.2% to trade at $11.74-1/4 a bushel.

The USDA cut its forecast for Russia’s 2024-25 wheat harvest to 83 million metric tons, down from 88 million tons last month, and its exports at 48 million tons, down from 52 million in May, after Moscow declared federal emergencies over crop losses due to unfavourable weather.

FranceAgriMer raises 2023/24 non-EU wheat export forecast

The USDA’s estimate of the US 2024/25 wheat crop rose to 1.875 billion bushels, a five-year high, from its May forecast of 1.858 billion.

The agency also raised its forecast of global wheat left at the end of the 2023/24 marketing year to 259.56 million metric tons, topping a range of trade expectations, while FranceAgriMer increased its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union in 2023/24, leading to lower projected stocks, although these remained at a 19-year high.

Argentina’s upcoming wheat harvest for 2024/25 estimated at 21 million tons, near the record set in the 2021/22 season, the Rosario grains exchange said.

The USDA in its latest monthly report lowered its estimate on corn end-stocks in 2024/2025 to 310.77 million tons from its estimate of 312.27 million tons in May.

Forecast on soybean ending stock also cut to 127.9 million tons from previous estimate of 128.5 million tons.

A prolonged drought in Mexico is set to again hammer harvests this year, according to government estimates, as adverse weather conditions could push the country to rely on more corn imports from the United States.

Ukraine’s corn production and exports are expected to fall to 25.5 million metric tons in 2024/25, down from the previous season’s 29.6 million with exports falling to 20.5 million from 26 million with yields set to fall due to extreme heat during planting season, the Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA) said.

Ukraine’s grain exports in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season had risen to 48.4 million metric tons by June 12 from 46.7 million tons, as of the same date in 2023, data from the agriculture ministry showed on Wednesday.

Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat, while Japan is seeking to buy a total of 109,126 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close late on June 13.

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