Chicago corn futures lost ground on Thursday as traders squared positions ahead of a widely watched U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report that is expected to show tightening stocks in the United States.
Soybeans were little changed while wheat eased.
“The USDA will report on U.S. corn inventories tonight,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “The report should show a substantial, but unsurprising, rundown in U.S. inventory.”
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) slid 0.1% to $5.38-1/2 per bushel by 0258 GMT, after gaining 1.2% in the previous session.
Soybeans were largely unchanged at $12.83-1/2 a bushel, while wheat lost 0.2% to $7.09 a bushel.
For the month, corn futures are set to close marginally higher after four months of decline, while wheat and soybeans are poised for a lower finish.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters expect the USDA to peg U.S. corn stocks at the end of Sept. 1 at 1.155 billion bushels, down from 1.187 billion bushels at the end of June.
Analysts estimate soybean stocks at 174 million bushels, close to the USDA’s last forecast of 175 million bushels.
The USDA is expected to trim its estimate for the U.S. 2021 wheat crop.
China on Thursday set its low tariff rate quota for wheat, corn and rice imports in 2022 at the same volumes as the previous year.
The Tariff Rate Quote for wheat imports in 2022 was set at 9.636 million tonnes, according to a notice published on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.
Import quota for corn and rice were set respectively at 7.2 million tonnes and 5.32 million tonnes, according to the state planner.
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat, corn, soybean, soymeal, soyoil and wheat futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)