Chicago | Reuters – U.S. soybean futures slid to the lowest point in a month on Monday under pressure from a record-large U.S. harvest and dim export prospects due to the trade dispute between the United States and top importer China.
Corn edged lower in a technical-selling and profit-taking setback after hitting a one-week high, while wheat firmed on signs of improving U.S. export demand.
A firmer U.S. dollar, which makes U.S. exports more expensive for buyers holding other currencies, created some headwinds for grains.
Largely favorable harvest weather in the U.S. Midwest also weighed on prices as most farmers are expected to finish gathering their bumper corn and soybean crops without major disruptions. Persistent rains earlier this month had delayed harvesting in some areas and damaged some crops, particularly soybeans.
“There is a large soybean crop out there,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities. “Even if soybean yields are smaller, we have more than enough of a cushion there. We still have a monster supply.”
Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans ended down 6 cents at $8.39 a bushel after earlier hitting a low of $8.37-1/4, the lowest since Sept. 25.
December corn fell 1 cent to $3.66-3/4 a bushel, while CBOT December wheat gained 2 cents to $5.07-1/4 a bushel.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was due to release its weekly harvest progress report later on Monday.
The U.S. soybean harvest was expected to be about 70 percent finished, still behind average but a jump from 53 percent complete a week earlier, according to the average estimate of analysts polled by Reuters.
The corn harvest was expected to be 64 percent complete, in line with the average pace.
A lagging U.S. soybean export pace remained a concern as China, the world’s top buyer of the oilseed, continues to largely shun U.S. shipments amid a trade dispute with the United States.
The USDA on Monday said private exporters reported sales of 120,000 tonnes of soybeans to undisclosed buyers, and the agency reported stronger-than-expected soybean export inspections last week. But the pace of sales and shipments remains well behind last year so many traders expect soybean supplies to remain very large.
Meanwhile, farmers in top soy exporter Brazil are likely to harvest another record soybean crop next season amid good planting weather, according to a Reuters poll.
– Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris.