By Kirk Maltais


--Wheat for December delivery fell 0.8% to $6.03 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday in reaction to more rain in major wheat-growing areas in the U.S. and Russia.

--Corn for December delivery fell 0.8% to $3.98 1/2 a bushel.

--Soybeans for January delivery fell 0.4% to $10.50 1/2 a bushel.




Quenching the Crops: Precipitation in the U.S. Plains and Russia pressured CBOT wheat futures Thursday, marking the fourth consecutive session that wheat lost ground. "Showers are more promising Friday through the weekend as a system gets cut-off and meanders in the area," agricultural weather firm DTN said.

All About The Fundamentals: Even though they finished lower, grains futures fared better in afternoon trading than they did this morning. Managed money funds were the main driver of sales for much of the week ahead of the U.S. presidential election, but today fund traders are said to have taken their foot off of the brakes. "Fund liquidation dominated early amid another round of weakness in global energy markets, but strong U.S. and global grain fundamentals have offered support," said AgResource. "U.S. corn is the world's cheapest feedgrain, U.S. soybeans are virtually the only supply available to world importers through mid-Feb, and even wheat export demand has held steady despite lofty premiums to E.U. and Black Sea origin."




Still Got To Eat: Grain futures could be in for a shock in the short term if President Trump pulls off a victory over challenger Joe Biden next week. "If Trump pulls the chestnuts out of the fire, we probably get a short-term break as the market feels there is political risk to the export market again," said Charlie Sernatinger of ED&F Man Capital. However, prices are expected to be stable longer-term, based on the assumption that countries buying U.S. grain exports won't drastically change their buying programs depending on who wins. "Either way we look at it, everyone needs to eat, so we don't expect election results to change the current U.S. export demand landscape," said Terry Reilly of Futures International.

Cautious Traders: If Biden prevails come Election Day next week, then grains traders may become concerned that a Biden Administration may impact domestic corn demand. "The spring shutdown of the economy slashed ethanol demand by 50% at the time, and we are still paying the price for that," said Arlan Suderman of StoneX. "Trump has stated that he will not do that again, while Biden has hinted that he might, and that has the corn and ethanol industry very nervous."

Beating the Forecast: Export sales of both U.S. corn and wheat exceeded the forecasts of grains traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal this week - possibly a good sign for the appetite of the export market for U.S. product. Sales of wheat totaled 743,200 metric tons for the week ending Oct. 22, while sales of corn totaled 2.24 million tons. For both, these figures are well up from the prior 4-week average, and also higher than trader forecasts - particularly corn, which was estimated to total 1 million tons to 1.5 million tons by traders. Meanwhile, soybean sales totaled 1.62 million tons, down 35% from the prior 4-week average but within trader expectations as sales to China have dropped off in recent weeks.




--The USDA will release its monthly agricultural prices report at 3 p.m. ET Friday.

--The CFTC releases its weekly commitment of traders report at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.


Write to Kirk Maltais at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 29, 2020 15:53 ET (19:53 GMT)

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