U.S. grains: Corn, soybeans slide on beneficial weekend rains

CBOT December 2019 corn with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures fell 1.6 per cent on Monday and soybean futures also declined after much-needed rains crossed dry areas of the Corn Belt over the weekend, bolstering crop production prospects, analysts said.

Wheat followed the softer trend.

Chicago Board of Trade December corn settled down 6-1/4 cents at $3.74-1/2 per bushel, but remained inside of Friday’s trading range (all figures US$).

CBOT November soybeans ended down 13-1/4 cents at $8.66-1/2 a bushel and December wheat finished down five cents at $4.72-1/2 a bushel.

Corn led the way down after weekend storms brought rain to Minnesota, southern Iowa, western Missouri and eastern Kansas, along with parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

“The rain exceeded expectations in most areas, particularly in the western Midwest, improving conditions for corn and soybean growth,” space technology company Maxar said in a note to clients.

The weekend showers, coupled with forecasts for more rain this week, put the focus back on prospects for hefty U.S. supplies.

“So today is about taking risk premium out of the market,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities.

After the CBOT close, the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a weekly crop progress report rated 56 per cent of the U.S. corn crop and 53 per cent of U.S. soybeans in good to excellent condition, down from 57 and 54 per cent, respectively, a week earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected no change for ratings of either crop.

Traders awaited clues on harvest prospects from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, which began scouting fields on Monday. The annual tour is expected to release corn yield estimates for Ohio and South Dakota later on Monday.

Scouts travelling one route in northwestern Ohio on Monday found corn yield potential was below average after a wet spring delayed plantings.

The tour concludes on Thursday night in Minnesota after scouting fields in seven states, and Pro Farmer editors are scheduled to release their U.S. corn and soybean crop estimates on Friday.

Some analysts say any downward revisions to crop expectations could have limited price impact given large global supplies and the U.S.-China trade tussle, which has curbed U.S. soybean exports.

“Amid the ongoing trade disputes between the U.S. and China, high stocks and the expectation of a high South American crop, many market participants see no reason to believe in any lasting price recovery,” Commerzbank said in a note.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was not yet ready to reach a trade deal with Beijing, citing a buoyant U.S. economy.

Reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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