Corn eases for 3rd session on ample supply, soybean prices tick up

corn

Chicago corn slid for a third consecutive session on Monday, dragged down by expectations of further increases in South American production.

Soybean prices gained more ground, underpinned by excessive rains in key exporter Argentina, although abundant world supplies kept a lid on the market.

“The USDA and Conab both release updated crop forecasts tomorrow,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, referring to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Brazil’s food supply agency.

“Analysts expect to see the Brazilian (corn) crop get bumped up into the 92.5-93.5 million tonne range given growing conditions have been so favourable.”

The Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract had fallen 0.1 percent to $3.59-1/4 a bushel by 0251 GMT, having slipped 0.3 percent in the previous session when prices hit their weakest since March 31 at $3.57-1/4.

Soybeans rose 0.1 percent to $9.43-1/4 a bushel, having closed little changed on Friday, while wheat was flat at $4.24 a bushel after closing up 0.2 percent on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release its monthly supply-demand report on Tuesday, and analysts surveyed by Reuters expect the government to raise its estimates of corn and soybean crops in the Southern Hemisphere.

Brazil’s 2016/2017 crop forecast was raised to 111.6 million tonnes from the 107 million tonnes seen in March, according to a statement on Friday from agricultural consultancy firm AgRural, which cited favourable climate conditions.

Argentina’s 2016/17 soy harvest accelerated in the past week but there are growing concerns over too much rain over the weekend.

Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to April. 4, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and switched to net short position in soybeans.

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