U.S. grains: Chicago soybeans edge up but post weekly loss on trade concerns

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Chicago | Reuters – Chicago soybean futures edged away from the prior session’s seven-week low in a technical rebound on Friday but posted a weekly loss as an escalation in a year-long trade dispute between the United States and China weighed on the market.

Corn and wheat prices were also slightly higher, boosted by bargain buying after also setting multi-week lows on Thursday.

Analysts said technical buying helped the futures markets bounce back from Thursday’s losses.

“The market is just looking for some middle ground before the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its updated crop report,” said Bill Gentry, managing director, agriculture consulting, for Risk Management Commodities, referring to the report expected on Aug. 12.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade closed up 3-1/4 cents, or 0.6% at $8.68-1/2 a bushel, after falling as low as $8.60 a bushel on Thursday. It was down 3.44 percent for the week.

Soybeans tumbled on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose an additional 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, citing insufficient progress in trade talks between the world’s two largest economies.

China is the world’s largest soybean importer and imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. soybeans more than a year ago.

“The situation is dire,” said Gentry. “China tends to have the upper hand when it comes to trade situations.”

The weather forecast for the U.S. Midwest has cooler-than-usual temperatures for the weekend, but it still may be insufficient to help the late-planted crops recently hurt by hot weather.

“We don’t have enough calendar days left for this crop to mature,” said Gentry. “It’s not hard to find crops that are in bad shape.”

CBOT’s most active corn contract settled up 7 cents, or 1.7 percent at $4.09-1/2 a bushel, rebounding from a 10-week low of $3.97-1/4 set on Thursday.

CBOT’s most active wheat contract closed up 25 cents, or 3.2 percent at $4.90-3/4 a bushel after setting a 10-week low of $4.71-3/4 on Thursday.

– Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Singapore



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