Corn, wheat firm as dollar eases; exports steady

Written by Reuters | Paris/Singapore | Updated: Jan 27 2010, 03:36am hrs
US corn and wheat futures rose on Monday as an easing dollar and stronger-than-expected exports helped grain markets steady following a steep decline last week.

Corn fell last week to its lowest since November 2, while wheat slid to a three and half months low as uncertainty over President Barack Obamas proposals to limit financial risk-taking weighed on Chicago markets amid rising global grain supplies. Heavy supply fundamentals and doubts about the global economic outlook kept Mondays gains modest, although the sharp pullback in prices had provided a welcome boost to export demand, operators said.

There are some gains across the board and it is not at all surprising, given the magnitude of decline we saw last week, said Toby Hassall, an analyst with CWA Global Markets in Sydney. There are expectations that the losses we have seen in the past couple of weeks are going to uncover some additional demand. And we did see some evidence with impressive exports data for wheat, corn and soyabeans.

The US department of agriculture on Friday reported export sales of US 2009-10 wheat in the latest week at 825,800 tonne, a marketing year high.It also reported exports of US corn at 1,610,800 tonne, above trade estimates for 650,000 to 1,000,000 tonne, sales of US soyabeans came in at 990,500 tonne, above estimates for 750,000 to 950,000 tonne.

Operators were also continuing to digest US President Obamas plans to curb risk-taking by banks to see if this would dampen investments in commodities. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) March delivery corn rose 0.75% to $3.67-1/2 a bushel by 1251 GMT and March wheat gained 0.35% to $5.00-1/4 a bushel as it hovered around the key support threshold of $5.

CBOT March soyabeans inched up 0.16% to $9.53. A weaker dollar, which encourages investors to buy US commodities as a hedge against inflation, supported the commodity markets as traders booked some profits after the US currencys gains last week.