U.S. grains mixed; soybeans near 2-week low ahead of U.S. export data

U.S. grain futures were mixed on Thursday, as market players looked ahead to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export report later in the session to gauge the strength of global demand for U.S. supplies.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, US soybeans for May delivery fell to a session low of $14.6463 a bushel earlier, the weakest level since April 14. Soybeans last traded at $14.6913 a bushel during U.S. morning hours, up 0.08%, or 1.1 cents.

The May soybean contract lost 0.76%, or 11.2 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $14.6840 a bushel.

Market participants were expecting the USDA to report old-crop export sales in a range between -200,000 to 100,000 tonnes in the week ended April 17. New-crop sales were forecast between 350,000 and 550,000 tonnes.

Elsewhere on the CBOT, US wheat for May delivery picked up 0.11%, or 1.1 cents, to trade at $6.7713 a bushel. The May wheat contract tacked on 0.52%, or 3.4 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $6.7640 a bushel.

Analysts were expecting old-crop export sales of wheat to come in a range from 200,000 to 400,000 tonnes. New-crop export sales were forecast between 250,000 to 500,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, US corn for May delivery rose 0.28%, or 1.4 cents, to trade at $5.0463 a bushel, the most since April 15. The May corn contract rallied 1.46%, or 7.2 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $5.0340 a bushel.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.