By Kirk Maltais

--Wheat for July delivery rose 1.1%, to $7.00 1/2 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, with traders still placing most of their focus on the weather for Russian wheat crops.

--Corn for July delivery rose 0.7%, to $4.64 1/2 a bushel.

--Soybeans for July delivery fell 0.6%, to $12.39 a bushel.


Monitoring Abroad: CBOT wheat rebounded from Wednesday's drop-off, finishing at over $7 a bushel for the first time since late July 2023. For wheat, much of the support for prices is coming from the status for weather overseas, with traders concentrating on how the afflicted Russian crop is faring with drought-stricken weather. Prices have been rebounding, although it isn't clear if demand will be able to keep up for long. "The Russian export FOB was indicated up $1 yesterday, at $243/ton, but you could still drive a truck between the bids and the offers," says Charlie Sernatinger of Marex in a note.

Storms Swirl: Storm activity in the Corn Belt has a driver for higher corn futures Thursday. Heavy precipitation is expected to continue hitting growing areas over the next several days, said Naomi Blohm of Total Farm Marketing in a note. "Lots of rain this week and coming up again for the weekend." This activity is expected to have slowed planting progress in the U.S., which has traders watching for the USDA Crop Progress reports to determine the effect.

Following the Trail: CBOT soybeans turned lower in the afternoon, with soybeans taking their cue from movement in soyoil futures. "It's hard to get follow-thru without oil moving up and the RFS stuff has been disappointing at best," John Payne of Advance Trading said. Traders have looked to Washington for direction on new regulations surrounding renewable fuels, but guidance surrounding the need for soyoil in the coming years has been limited. Also influencing soybeans is a lack of confirmation of China's purported return to buying U.S. soybean exports by the USDA.


Stuck in Place: Agriculture in the U.S. could feel the effect if Canadian rail workers move forward with a strike, said the USDA. In its weekly Grain Transportation Report, the USDA reported that Canada was the destination for $28.2 billion of agricultural exports in 2023, making it one of the top destinations for U.S. agricultural goods. "If an outage occurs, it would halt rail movements in Canada and could significantly impact U.S. agricultural trade, producers, and consumers," said the USDA. Canadian rail operators were set to begin striking on May 22, but have delayed that start due to government intervention.

Cheaper Haul: Shipments of agricultural goods from Brazil are seeing declining transportation costs, due in large part to slower sales of soybeans and corn on the export market, said Brazilian agricultural agency Conab in a note. Also pushing prices lower is the large amount of freight suppliers operating in the country, while fuel costs stay stable, the agency said. This is expected to stay in place in many areas going forward, although some states like Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul could see a reversal of falling prices for freight in the coming months, said Thomé Guth of Conab.


--The USDA will release its monthly Cattle on Feed report at 3 p.m. ET Friday.

--The USDA will release its monthly Cold Storage report at 3 p.m. ET Friday.

--The CFTC will release its weekly Commitment of Traders report at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-23-24 1528ET