By Kirk Maltais
--Wheat for May delivery fell 1.9% to $5.69 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, pulling back after seven sessions of gains.
--Soybeans for May delivery fell 0.1% to $8.80 1/4 a bushel.
--Corn for May delivery rose 0.1% to $3.48 3/4 a bushel.
Profit Taking: Wheat's upward momentum paused, after a strong week that saw prices rally to where they were before the coronavirus pandemic started weighing on markets in late February. "Wheat eased off as the panic fund buying in the front end yesterday failed to materialize again today," said Charlie Sernatinger of ED&F Man Capital.
Global Grain Gobble: Net corn export sales hit a marketing-year high of 1.8 million metric tons in the week ended March 19, with China purchasing about 42%. China was also the leading buyer of U.S. wheat and soybean exports, according to the USDA, with new wheat export sales totaling 740,000 tons and soybean sales totaling 904,300 tons.
Watching and Waiting: Traders are looking ahead to the USDA's seeding report next week. "A bullish March 31st market response will be quickly sold by US farmers/traders amid the ethanol margin implosion," AgResource said. "If the report is neutral or bearish, CBOT corn values will quickly decline to new lows."
Cargill Recalculates: Agricultural giant Cargill will skip its third-quarter earnings release, scheduled for March 31, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Privately held Cargill doesn't have the reporting obligations of a public company but for years has released quarterly profit and revenue figures along with a snapshot of its business performance. It's another coronavirus casualty in the agricultural market.
--The CFTC releases its weekly commitment of traders report at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.
--The USDA releases its weekly grain export inspections data at 11 a.m. ET Monday.
(Jacob Bunge contributed to this article.)
Write to Kirk Maltais at firstname.lastname@example.org