U.S. grains: Soy drops below $10 on rising supplies

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures declined on Tuesday for a seventh straight session, dropping below US$10 a bushel as hefty South American harvests threatened U.S. soy export prospects, traders said.

Corn firmed, snapping a six-session slide on news of U.S. corn sales to China, while wheat was little changed after a back-and-forth session.

CBOT May soybeans settled down 6-3/4 cents at $9.99-1/4 a bushel after dipping to $9.92, the contract’s lowest since mid-November (all figures US$).

May corn rose 1-1/4 cents to $3.62-1/4 a bushel while May wheat ended steady at $4.30-1/2 a bushel.

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Soybeans were weighed down by the ongoing harvest of a likely record-large crop in Brazil along with broad weakness in commodities. The 19-market Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity CRB Index fell 0.6 per cent.

“The soybean complex was pressured on favorable weather over South America that is beneficial for late crop development and harvest, and on the decline in crude oil futures… which continues to force liquidation of the funds’ net long positions,” Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis, wrote in a note to clients.

Expectations for an expansion in U.S. soybean plantings added to bearish sentiment. A survey of farmers released by Illinois-based research and brokerage firm Allendale Inc. projected soybean plantings at 88.8 million acres, up 6.5 per cent from 2016.

The survey suggests corn and wheat acres would be scaled back, putting corn plantings at 90 million acres and all-wheat seedings at 45.967 million acres.

CBOT corn rebounded from a two-month low on news that importers in China booked about 195,000 tonnes of U.S. corn for shipment in the late spring to early summer.

Also, the Korea Feed Association bought about 65,000 tonnes of corn likely to be sourced from the U.S., European traders said.

“We met an objective to the downside in corn and it’s coinciding with a little trade taking place, and that is enough to give us a bounce,” said Terry Linn, analyst with Linn + Associates.

Wheat was choppy, with the market rallying at times on short-covering and bargain buying. Cold temperatures in the U.S. Midwest this week could threaten soft red winter wheat crops in some areas, the Commodity Weather Group said.

After the CBOT close, Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities set a tender to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from April 15-25. Results were expected on Wednesday.

— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham in Sydney and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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