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Wheat Closes Lower, Drags Down Beans, Corn, as Dollar Improves

Greenback value increases on failure to breach technical levels.

Wheat futures closed lower Monday in Chicago after the dollar’s drop stalled.

The dollar had been declining since last week when the Federal Reserve raised rates but seemed less hawkish than many analysts expected. A weaker greenback boosts spending power for overseas buyers of U.S. products including grains and oilseeds. That, in turn, spurred some buying of agricultural contracts on speculation demand for U.S. supplies would increase.

The dollar, however, failed to breach a key technical level this morning, which seemingly underpinned its value. The greenback is up 0.1% late in the day against a basket of its global counterparts. 

Investors reduced their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in hard-red futures to 25,290 contracts from 35,306 a week earlier, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Soft-red net-shorts rose to 110,093 contracts, up from 65,521, the CFTC said. 

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 6½¢ cents to $4.29¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat declined 8½¢ to $4.45 a bushel.

Soybeans and corn turned lower after overnight gains on reports of favorable weather in South American growing regions.

Soybean futures for May delivery lost 1¾¢ cents to $9.98¼ a bushel. Soymeal lost $2.40 to $326.50 a short ton, and soy oil gained rose 0.35¢ to 32.65¢ a pound.

Corn lost 4¼¢ to $3.63¼ a bushel in Chicago.

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