U.S. grain futures finished mixed Thursday as the markets rebounded from multimonth lows.
Soft red winter wheat for July delivery, the nearby contract, ended up 10 3/4 cents, or 1.7%, at $6.49 a bushel after touching an 11-month low in early dealings. September wheat, the most actively traded contract, closed down 4 cents, or 0.6%, at $6.69 1/4 a bushel after trading as low as $6.41 1/2 at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Corn for July delivery rose 3 cents, or 0.4%, to $6.80 1/2 a bushel after dropping more than 5% to a three-month low. Corn for December delivery closed down 4 1/4 cents, or 0.7%, at $6.46 a bushel, 24 cents above its session low.
The front-month contracts recovered as traders who saw the sell-offs as buying opportunities stepped into the markets, said analyst Dale Durchholz at AgriVisor. The decline in prices presented grain users with "an opportunity to cover some more needs for the short term," he said.
"Once the selling stopped in here, you've got some bottom-pickers in the market," Durchholz said.
The early sell-off came after corn prices dropped the one-day limit of 30 cents Wednesday on heavy selling by speculative traders. Ongoing liquidation kept pressure to prices for much of the session as the daily limit temporarily expanded to 45 cents, traders said. It will revert back to 30 cents Friday.
Steep losses in crude oil added pressure to the grain markets, as ethanol is made from corn. A strong rally in the dollar fueled fears about demand for commodities, as it makes U.S. goods less attractive to foreign buyers.
Yet, the markets have likely seen their lowest prices until the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues highly anticipated acreage and supply reports next week, according to MF Global. Uncertainty about crop inventories and plantings is keeping grain users nervous.
"Look for a mild recovery into the report on the 30th," MF Global advised.
Soybeans lagged behind the recovery in the nearby grain futures. Soybeans for July delivery ended down 12 1/2 cents, or 0.9%, to $13.17 3/4 a bushel, while soybeans for November delivery dropped 15 1/4 cents, or 1.1%, to $13.17 1/4 a bushel.
December soyoil dropped 1.9% to 56.38 cents a pound, and July soymeal ended down 1.9% at $340.60 per short ton. September oats slid 1.3% to $3.54 1/4 a bushel, while December ethanol dropped 0.5% to $2.377 per gallon. September rice advanced 0.8% to $14.73 1/2 per hundredweight.
At the Kansas City Board of Trade, hard red winter wheat for September delivery fell 1.3% to $7.78 1/4 a bushel. Hard red spring wheat for September delivery tumbled 1.9% to $8.35 1/2 a bushel at MGEX in Minneapolis.