Chicago Board of Trade soybeans, corn and wheat all ended higher on Wednesday as worries grow that a wage strike in Argentina's main port of Rosario may disrupt its grain and soybean exports, and lifted grain prices.
The most active corn contract for July delivery added 3.25 cents, or 0.89 percent, to close at 3.6775 U.S. dollars per bushel. Wheat for May delivery gained 7.25 cents, or 1.52 percent, to close at 4.835 dollars per bushel. July soybeans rose 10.75 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at 9.88 dollars per bushel.
Argentine's main grains port of Rosario were thrown into disarray on Wednesday by a wage strike by port workers in charge of helping dock incoming cargo ships.
Analysts said the strikes threaten to slow supply from Argentina, therefore putting upward pressure on world food prices. The South American country is the top exporter of soymeal, the third largest supplier of raw soybeans and a major producer of corn and wheat in the world
"The crush/port workers are seeking a 70-percent increase in wages which is commonplace for Latin America each harvest. Normally, these strikes are short lived and don't have a lasting impact on the market," said AgResource company, a Chicago-based agricultural research institute, in a report.
"This proposed strike is strange since it could start this evening -- one day ahead of a 3-day May Day holiday weekend. They could be trying to leverage the holiday," it added.
Corn ended a seven-session losing streak on Wednesday despite a decline in U.S. ethanol production last week.
The weekly ethanol production report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed a small drop in production, in line with the average to reach U.S, government's annual U.S. corn ethanol production estimate. U.S. ethanol production through the week ending April 24 fell to 921,000 barrels per day, down 0.9 percent from the prior week.