GRAINS-Soybean futures rise from three-year low, corn extends recovery

Credit: REUTERS/RODOLFO BUHRER

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures settled higher on short-covering and technical buying on Wednesday as the market rebounded after the front-month contract matched a three-year low, analysts said.

Corn futures also advanced in a recovery from recent three-year lows, while wheat futures fell under pressure from bumper Russian production.

Speculative investors have amassed large net short positions in the markets, opening the door for short-covering.

Ample global supplies and competition for U.S. grain and soy export business limit gains, analysts said. Soybean futures eased earlier as cheaper South American supplies make U.S. soy less competitive globally.

"The fundamentals of the soybean market are mostly bearish," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage. "However, little rallies to correct an oversold condition like we saw earlier in the week are certainly possible."

CBOT March soybeans SH24 settled up 2-3/4 cents at $11.34 per bushel after dropping earlier to $11.24-3/4. That matched a Monday low that was the weakest price for nearby futures Sc1 since November 2020. Most-active May soybeans Sv1 closed up 4-1/2 cents at $11.45-1/4 per bushel.

Most-active corn Cv1 ended up 5 cents at $4.28-1/2 per bushel and reached its highest price since Feb. 14. CBOT wheat Wv1 dropped 9-1/2 cents to $5.74-3/4.

Recent declines in open interest in CBOT soybeans and corn signal sell-offs are running out of momentum, said Jim Gerlach, president of brokerage A/C Trading.

Still, advancing soy harvests in Brazil are bringing fresh supplies to the world market, though industry group Abiove cut its estimate for the nation's 2024 soybean output. Argentina is expected to start harvesting in April.

"The trend for soybeans is down, and it will keep going down," said Rabobank analyst Vitor Pistoia, adding that his bank forecast prices falling to $11 per bushel by the end of the year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is slated to issue weekly grain and soy export sales data on Thursday. Traders are also watching for deliveries against CBOT March contracts on first notice day on Thursday.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Additional reporting by Peter Hobson and Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Eileen Soreng, Mark Potter, Will Dunham and Richard Chang)

((Thomas.Polansek@thomsonreuters.com))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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