By Kirk Maltais

-- Wheat for May delivery fell 2.1% to $5.38 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Wednesday, with flooding concerns in many U.S. planting areas limited.

-- Corn for May delivery fell 0.1% to $4.30 3/4 a bushel.

-- Soybeans for May delivery rose 0.4% to $11.49 1/2 a bushel.


Feet on the Ground: Traders are watching rainfall forecasts in the U.S. Corn Belt, but concerns about flooding derailing the planting season are limited.

"The overall forecast is wet in the Corn Belt through the end of April, but the trade is rightfully optimistic over the ability of the U.S. farmer to get crops seeded in a timely fashion," Matt Zeller of StoneX said in a note.

Not So Attractive: The effects of a stronger U.S. dollar appear to have been priced into CBOT grains Wednesday, leaving futures drifting for most of the day.

Commodities overall have been under pressure this week, in part because of a rising U.S. dollar in the wake of data showing persistent inflation as well as comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell suggesting that rate cuts may be further away than previously anticipated.

For grains, U.S. dollar strength versus weakness in the Brazilian real looks to make U.S. exports even more unattractive on the world market.


Possibility for Improvement: Last week's grain export sales reported by the USDA were on the low side of analyst expectations, and the sentiment among many traders is that Brazil's exports have been elbowing U.S. grains out of competition, because of a weaker Brazilian real and stronger U.S. dollar.

Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast that for the week ended April 11, export sales for both corn and soybeans could exceed 1 million metric tons, this after each chalked up only 300,000 tons to 350,000 tons of sales in the previous week's report.

Analysts think corn sales could land between 325,000 tons to 1.1 million tons, while soybeans are expected between 300,000 tons and 1.1 million tons.

Production Slide: Average daily production of ethanol for the week ended April 12 fell below the estimates of analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

In its latest weekly report, the EIA reported that daily production averaged 983,000 barrels a day, down from 73,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Analysts forecast that average daily production would land between 1.033 million barrels and 1.051 million barrels, versus 1.056 million barrels a day in the week ended April 5.

The most recent week's average is the lowest production has been since mid-January.


-- The USDA is scheduled to release its weekly export sales report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.

-- The USDA is due to release its monthly cattle-on-feed report at 3 p.m. EDT Friday.

-- The CFTC is scheduled to release its weekly Commitments of Traders Report at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-17-24 1535ET