Soft commodity futures have been trading mostly up so far in today’s session, with corn rebounding from its steepest daily drop in over 18 months on the back of larger than anticipated inventories and plantings in US data. Sugar continues to linger near the six-year lows reached during yesterday’s trading.
Corn futures for May delivery were up 0.43 percent, or 1.62 cents, to $3.786 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade as of 10:12 BST. The commodity shed 4.6 percent of its value yesterday, with prices hitting an intraday low of $3.752, their weakest level since 20 March, after the release reports from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
According to the USDA’s quarterly report, farmers and grain elevators had 7.7 billion bushels of corn in storage at the start of March, topping estimates for 7.6 billion and the 7 billion held in bins a year prior. The Washington-based agency estimated in a separate report that farmers are likely to sow 89.2 million acres of corn this spring, above analysts’ forecasts for 88.7 million. Soybean plantings were projected at a record 84.6 million acres, below expectations for 85.9 million. Prior to the release of the plantings data, traders had expected farmers to switch more acres from corn to soybeans.
The front-month soybeans contract had climbed 0.51 percent, or about five cents, to $9.781 per bushel as of 09:09 BST. Yesterday, the benchmark reverted earlier losses and closed 0.5 percent up on the day.
CBOT wheat futures for delivery in May had advanced 0.88 percent to $5.116 a bushel as of 10:11 BST, trimming yesterday’s 3.5 percent drop. During the previous session, the commodity fell from a one-week high of $5.311, touched earlier during the day, as support from a dry spell and rising temperatures in parts of the US grain belt, which threatened to curb yields of the winter crop, was offset by strength in the US dollar.
Meanwhile, in non-grain soft commodities, ICE Raw sugar futures for settlement in May were trading flat at 12.01 cents per lb on the ICE exchange, as of 09:43 BST. During the previous session the contract hit an intraday low of 11.91 cents, its lowest price since January 2009 as ample supplies continued to weigh on prices. At last check, May white sugar was up 0.16 percent at $356.000 per tonne.
Arabica coffee futures rose, adding to yesterday’s rally following a four percent drop on Monday. As of 10:18 BST, arabica futures for May settlement had gained 1.36 percent to $1.348 per lb. Despite yesterday’s 0.4 percent advance, the benchmark logged in a 20 percent drop in Q1, its steepest quarterly decline since Q1 of 2000. May robusta coffee was up 0.51 percent at $1,738 a tonne.
At last check, cocoa for May delivery was trading 0.42 percent higher at £1,910.00 per tonne in London, while the US benchmark was down 0.24 percent at $2,697.00. According to dealers, favourable weather in West African growing regions bode well for the mid crops, which in turn weighed on prices.