Chicago corn and soybean prices ended moderately higher on Wednesday, as a coordinated action by major central banks to support the global financial system lifted market sentiment. Wheat lost some steam, as short-covering from fund traders dried up.
The most active corn contract for March delivery rose 2.5 cents, or 0.4 percent, to close at 6.08 U.S. dollars per bushel. March wheat pared 2 cents, or 0.3 percent, to 6.14 dollars per bushel. January soybean rallied 6.25 cents, or 0.6 percent, to close at 11. 3125 dollars per bushel.
The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank announced coordinated actions to provide liquidity support to ease global financial strains, the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, People's Bank of China said Wednesday that it will lower banks' reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 50 basis points for the first time in three years to replenish liquidity in the country's banking system as inflation eases.
Market analysts mentioned that the demand for riskier assets surged on Wednesday with the sharp break in the U.S. dollar and a surge higher in equity and energy markets, as the coordinated move by key central banks helped easing fears of a global credit crisis similar to the one that followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.
But grain prices failed to hold on to its earlier gains amid market expectations that the extraordinary measures by central banks to supply the world with liquidity might indicate that the global slowdown to be worse than expected.
The Argentina's Agriculture Ministry forecast its 2011/12 corn production at a record high 30 million tons, which is much higher than the previous record of 22.5 million tons.
A trader pointed out that the increasing expectation of potential higher production in South America along with concerns over global growth slowdown dragged down the corn prices.
As for wheat, it rallied earlier in the session, boosted by active buying from funds, but it gradually gave back earlier gains and ended a tad lower as the short-covering from fund dwindled.