By Kirk Maltais

-- Wheat for July delivery rose 1.9% to $6.14 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Wednesday, with short covering again driving wheat prices as crops in Russia, Europe and the U.S. experience weather issues.

-- Soybeans for July delivery fell 0.1% to $11.81 1/4 a bushel.

-- Corn for July delivery fell 0.9% to $4.48 1/2 a bushel.


Results May Vary: Wheat futures managed to maintain a short-covering rally Wednesday while corn and soybeans sank.

"Wheat has some weather concerns in various parts of the world," said Ted Seifried of Zaner Ag Hedge. "In the meantime, U.S. planting weather looks more favorable."

U.S. winter wheat has suffered from dryness in the Southern Plains. But corn has generally received supportive moisture and temperatures for planting, which allows farmers who wait to plant soybeans after their corn crops to get their soybeans in the ground earlier.

Rainfall is expected across the Corn Belt this weekend, which may force farmers to pause planting.

Screeching to a Stop: Corn and soybeans took a break from short covering, allowing the market to digest the strength seen in the first half of the week.

"The rallies we saw the last few days are taking a breather after seeing big gains in a short period of time," said Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives.

Trading picked up in the afternoon, leaving end of day CBOT volumes up from recent sessions.


Record Highs in Sight: Russian wheat exports for April are expected to climb to a record high for the month of 4.6 million metric tons, SovEcon said in a note. That is up from 4.4 million tons in April 2023, as well as the average for the month of 2.9 million tons.

"Russia is exporting wheat at a record pace due to its high competitiveness," SovEcon said.

Russian prices have been rising to keep up with European prices, which in turn has been giving global wheat futures a boost this week.

Back on Track: Argentina's soybean harvesting is resuming after pausing for wet weather, AgResource said in a note.

"Fields have dried, and soils have firmed enough to support large machinery," the firm said.

As a result, more Argentine soybeans are expected to hit the global export market, crowding out U.S. exports further.

Starting the Season: Both average daily production of U.S. ethanol and overall ethanol inventories fell from the previous week, according to the latest weekly data from the EIA, and may continue to drop as the summer driving season draws nearer.

In its latest report, the EIA says that average daily production of ethanol was 954,000 barrels a day for the week ended April 19. That is down from 983,000 barrels a day the previous week. Stocks for the week totaled 25.73 million barrels, which is down from 26.08 million barrels reported last week.

Traders watched Wednesday's release to see if a gradual multiweek downturn in ethanol production and stocks is in the cards, said Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage in a note.


-- Ethanol producer Valero Energy is scheduled to release its fiscal first- quarter earnings at 6:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.

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

-- The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly livestock slaughter report at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday.

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

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-24-24 1530ET