By Kirk Maltais

-Wheat for July delivery rose 3.8% to $5.88 1/2 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade on Monday, with grain traders reacting to both geopolitical volatility and dry weather by covering steep short positions.

-Corn for May delivery rose 1.5% to $4.40 a bushel.

-Soybeans for May delivery rose 0.9% to $11.61 a bushel.


Weekend Attack: Grain traders reacted to a Russian attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa over the weekend, which damaged port infrastructure. This applied mostly to wheat. "Wheat is starting the week off firm as we have ongoing Russia/Ukraine risk," Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives said in a note. Wheat received an additional boost later in the session from weather concerns in the U.S., Europe and Russia.

Climbing Inspections: U.S. corn export inspections rose for the week ended April 18, according to the USDA's latest weekly report published Monday. The USDA said that corn inspections totaled 1.62 million metric tons for the week, up from 1.35 million tons reported last week. Soybean inspections fell to 435,256 tons from 446,570 tons reported last week, and wheat inspections dropped to 450,275 tons from 620,139 tons last week. Mexico was the leading destination for U.S. corn, totaling 619,410 tons of yellow corn, along with 4,890 tons of white corn.

Dry Spell: Drought seen in the Central Plains is expected to impact U.S. wheat production, Joel Karlin of Ocean State Research said. Karlin added that traders are anticipating that this afternoon's Crop Progress report to show a decline in winter wheat crop ratings--although they are expected to stay higher from last year's extremely low level.


Questioning the Trend: Fund traders extended a streak of momentum that started on Friday. "It's a big rally day due to managed money being a tad too bearish/short last week," AgResource said in a note. The firm adds that while the market is seeing a string of short-covering days, the rally isn't rooted in fundamentals. "[Our] research maintains that rallies and breaks will fail," the firm said.

End Game: The latter stages of harvesting in Brazil, as well as issues with Argentinian crops, was a source of support for corn and soybeans -- with weather issues continuing to rear their head. "Dryness is forecasted for parts of Northern Brazil, that is supportive for corn values as it may hurt yields there," Brian Hoops of Midwest Market Solutions said. These issues helped spur short-covering in all three row crops.


-The EIA will release its weekly ethanol production and stocks report at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

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

-Ethanol producer Valero Energy will release its fiscal first quarter earnings at 6:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

-The USDA will release its weekly export sales report at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

-The USDA will release its monthly Livestock Slaughter report at 3 p.m. ET Thursday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-22-24 1519ET