U.S. grains: Soybeans, corn dip on disappointing exports, better weather

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Winnipeg | Reuters — Soybean and corn futures slipped on Thursday, pressured by disappointing U.S. export sales, forecasts for mostly favorable Midwest weather and technical selling.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat rose on better-than-expected export sales.

“We had a nice bounce in corn and soybeans, so it’s a technical pullback,” said Arlan Suderman, senior market analyst at Illinois-based Water Street Advisory. “We go into the (Aug. 12 U.S. Department of Agriculture) report with a lot of people believing we have two big crops out there, corn and soybeans, while others are starting to see problems.

“I think we’re going to see this choppiness for some time.”

Showers are easing any concerns about dry spots in Illinois and Indiana, Commodity Weather Group said.

CBOT new-crop November soybeans fell 10 cents, or one per cent, to $9.43-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

December corn eased 2-3/4 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $3.80-1/2 a bushel.

USDA reported a net cancellation of 500,000 tonnes on old-crop U.S. soybean purchases by China. It was the largest single-week cancellation by China since July 2011, according to USDA data, and only partly offset by net new-crop sales totaling 426,000 tonnes.

With the new marketing year less than a month away, and following record-large imports from South America this summer, Chinese buyers were believed to be rolling some of their U.S. purchases to 2015-16, traders said.

The report showed net cancellations for corn totaling 2,700 tonnes for 2014-15, while net sales for 2015-16 totaled 277,000 tonnes, below trade expectations.

A raised U.S. soybean crop forecast from private analytical firm Informa Economics helped counter a rally in which soybean futures hit a one-week high on Wednesday.

“Every new forecast seems to be bringing something new and the market seems to be reacting to that pretty quickly,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank.

Informa projected U.S. soybean output at 3.789 billion bushels, up from a July 8 estimate of 3.77 billion. The company left its corn output estimate unchanged at 13.412 billion bushels.

Favourable prospects for corn production in the U.S., South America and Ukraine tempered concern about heat damage to corn in the European Union.

September wheat added five cents, or one per cent, to $5.07 a bushel.

USDA reported export sales of U.S. wheat in the latest week at 838,500 tonnes for 2015-16, a marketing year high that topped trade expectations.

Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent covering the agriculture and mining sectors from Winnipeg. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen and Karl Plume in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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