U.S. grains: Soybeans fall on crop development

Wheat lifts on short-covering

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybean futures slid on Monday on reports of healthy crop development across much of the U.S. Midwest, as concerns about a potential bumper crop cooled market enthusiasm over recent strong Chinese demand.

Private exporters reported the sale of 390,000 tonnes of soybeans to China for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday.

Corn futures weakened on forecasts of crop-boosting rain in the Midwest, which is expected to ease the impact of recent hot weather.

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“Adding to that, the equity markets came unglued overnight around the world, and that was a bit of a push, too,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Weakening crude oil prices also weighed on grain futures on Monday, as coronavirus cases continued to rise, feeding fears that new lockdowns could hamper economic recovery and erode fuel demand.

Wheat futures traded sideways, still pressured by abundant supplies forecast in a U.S. government report last week. Leading Russian consultancies revised forecasts for this year’s Russian wheat harvest, tempering concerns about the effects of a dry spring.

But losses were kept in check by short-covering, traders said, as the market is seen as technically oversold after the most-active contract hit a near one-month low on Friday.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) gained 2-3/4 cents to close at $5.04-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

Soybeans slipped 2-1/4 cents to $8.69 a bushel and corn lost 3/4 cent to $3.29-1/4 a bushel.

China has stepped up purchases of U.S. soybeans in recent weeks, supporting prices.

U.S. soybean crushings fell 1.3 per cent in May, missing most analyst estimates, while end-of-month soyoil stocks declined from a near seven-year high, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Monday.

— P.J. Huffstutter reports on agriculture and agribusiness for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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