April 29, 2020 / 2:24 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Corn ticks up for first time in four sessions

SYDNEY, April 29 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures edged higher for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday on an expected uptick in demand from the North American livestock industry, although prices remained near more than a decade low on weak demand for ethanol.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.1% at $3.12-1/4 a bushel by 0158 GMT, having closed down 0.4% in the previous session.

* The most active soybean futures were up 0.2% at $8.33-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.5% on Tuesday.

* The most active wheat futures were down 0.3% at $5.23-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 0.2% on Tuesday after prices hit the March 19 low of $5.20 a bushel.

* U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered meat-processing plants to stay open to protect the food supply in the United States, despite concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, drawing backlash from unions that said at-risk workers required more protection.

* Demand for corn continues to be hammered by dried-up usage of the grain-based fuel ethanol as shelter-in-place orders keep drivers at home.

* Restrictions have also caused restaurants’ meat consumption to dive, dissipating the need for feedgrains like corn, soybeans and wheat.

* U.S. farmers planted 27% of intended corn acres as of Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said late Monday, topping most analysts’ expectations and the five-year average of 20%.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar was on the back foot on Wednesday as the slowing spread of the coronavirus and moves to re-open economies supported the investor mood, ahead of major central bank meetings.

* Oil prices climbed on Wednesday, trimming some of this week’s steep losses after U.S. stockpiles rose less than expected and hopes grew for demand to pick up as some European countries and U.S. cities moved to ease coronavirus lockdowns.

* Wall Street’s major indexes lost ground on Tuesday as investors moved out of market-leading growth stocks, though a rotation into cyclical value stocks indicated hopes of economic revival as states began to relax restrictions enacted to fight the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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