KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, US — Corn futures on Feb. 28 declined to their lowest levels in six months. Wheat futures were mostly lower for a fifth session in the past five, amid improving US crop weather and questions about the competitiveness of US supplies after Turkey’s purchase from the Black Sea region greatly outpaced in volume South Korea’s purchase of North American wheat.
Soybean futures notched even larger declines, the biggest in a day since Dec. 1 at 2.2%, in the case of the most active contract. The rest of the soy complex was lower as well, partly pressured by ample supplies on the market amid Brazil’s ongoing harvest.
All three major agricultural commodities were under pressure from end-of-February liquidation by investment funds.
March corn fell 13¼¢ to close at $6.29½ a bushel. Chicago March wheat pulled back 4½¢ to close at $6.91½ a bushel; furthest deferred contracts were steady to slightly higher. Kansas City March wheat declined 7¼¢ to close at $8.15¾ a bushel; furthest deferred 2024 contracts were higher. Minneapolis March wheat added 7¼¢ to close at $8.15¾ a bushel; later months were mixed, mostly lower in 2023, higher in 2024. March soybeans sank 27¾¢ to close at $14.90½ a bushel. March soybean meal shed $11.10 to close at $487.60 per ton. March soybean oil subtracted 0.29¢ to close at 59.75¢ a pound.
US equity markets ground lower Tuesday, ending February lower after having rallied in January. Pressure came from investor ideas the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates well above 5% this year and park them there to rein in inflation. Also Tuesday, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures home prices across the nation, advanced 5.8% in the year ended in December, down from a 7.6% annual rate the prior month. It was the lowest December-to-December change since 2019.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 232.39 points, or 0.7%, to 32,656.70 for a 4.2% decline in February leaving it down 1.5% in 2023. The Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 12.09 points, or 0.3%, to 3,970.15 for a 2.6% decline in February, but gained 3.4% in 2023 to date. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 11.44 points, or 0.1%, to 11,455.54, and was down 1.1% in February but up 9.4% in 2023 so far.US crude oil prices reversed course from the previous day and closed higher Tuesday. The April contract added $1.37 to close at $77.05 per barrel. Ahead of the March 1 release of Energy Information Administration official data, the American Petroleum Institute reported US commercial inventories of crude oil rose by 6.2 million barrels last week, while gasoline supplies fell by 1.8 million barrels.