The most active corn contract for May delivery gained 3.75 cents, or 1.14 percent, to close at 3.315 U.S. dollars per bushel. May wheat fell 6.5 cents, or 1.17 percent, to end at 5.4925 dollars per bushel. May soybeans dropped 0.75 cent, or 0.09 percent, to settle at 8.5475 dollars per bushel.
CBOT brokers estimated that funds had bought 5,400 contracts of corn and 1,300 contracts of soybeans, while sold 1,200 contracts of wheat.
Trading volume was up amid short covering in corn and soybeans while funds reduced their market risk in long wheat ahead of Thursday's April world agricultural supply and demand estimates (WASDE) from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the coming three-day Easter weekend.
The Agricultural Research Council estimated that the U.S. corn ethanol industry must idle at least 35 percent of its plants to bring output into balance with the drop in demand amid "Stay-at-Home" orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In that vein, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, Poet LLC of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said it would idle four plants that consume 110 million bushels of corn per year, reducing the monthly grind by just over 9 million bushels.
Further plant closures are expected in coming weeks that could reduce the 2019/20 U.S. corn ethanol grind by 350 to 450 million bushels.
USDA is expected to project a conservative decline of 200-250 million bushels of 2019/20 grind in Thursday's report.
Market analysts hold that until most of corn/soybean seeding is completed in U.S. Midwest, the CBOT will be choppy.