U.S. grains: Soy, corn sink to new lows on plentiful supplies

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell to a five-month low on Thursday and corn dropped to a 2-1/2 month low, pressured by plentiful global supplies amid bumper South American crops and expectations for large plantings in the U.S.

The actively traded May-delivery contracts for both commodities hit their lowest levels of 2017.

“The large South American crops continue to weigh on corn and bean prices. Additionally, we’re hearing some larger acreage estimates for 2017 U.S. soybean plantings as well,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodities analyst with Futures International.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release its annual prospective plantings report late next week. The report is expected to show record-high soybean acres.

Chicago Board of Trade May soybean futures fell 8-3/4 cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $9.91 a bushel (all figures US$). Soybeans have declined for 12 of the last 14 sessions.

Soyoil futures fell more than one per cent on profit taking after hitting two-week highs on expectations that the U.S. would take steps to block some biodiesel imports.

The National Biodiesel Board on Thursday morning petitioned the U.S. government to impose antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel in violation of trade agreements.

CBOT May corn fell two cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $3.56-3/4 a bushel, the contract’s lowest since Dec. 30.

Larger-than-expected export sales limited declines in corn and soybeans for much of the session.

USDA reported weekly export sales of old-crop corn at 1,347,100 tonnes, above a range of trade expectations and the largest in eight weeks. Soybean sales also topped trade forecasts at 738,200 tonnes for 2016-17 shipment.

Chicago and Kansas City wheat notched fresh 2-1/2 month lows with a fourth session of declines as forecasts for rains are expected to boost crops, while spring wheat gained modestly on strong demand for high-protein grain.

CBOT May wheat fell 1-1/4 cent to $4.21 a bushel and May K.C. wheat dropped 4-1/2 cents to $4.28. May spring wheat futures added three cents to $5.40-3/4 a bushel.

— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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