U.S. grains: Corn, soybeans hit two-week lows on huge U.S. crops

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and soybeans tumbled to two-week lows on Wednesday, extending steep declines from the previous session as record harvests neared completion and investors took profits after recent multimonth highs.

Wheat fell to a one-week low at the Chicago Board of Trade on pressure from technical selling and weak export demand.

“We’ve had a good run since the beginning of October and we’re just taking some cards off the table,” said Christopher Narayanan, head of agriculture commodities research at Societe Generale in New York. “It’s just profit-taking; I haven’t seen anything fundamental today.”

CBOT December corn eased two per cent, or 8-3/4 cents, to $3.63-1/4, down for the fourth straight session for the largest such decline in two months (all figures US$).

Soybeans for January delivery fell 18-1/2 cents to$10.06, while CBOT December wheat declined 11-1//4 cents to $5.37-3/4 per bushel.

“Wheat is being pulled down by the weakness in corn and soybeans,” said Frank Rijkers, agrifood economist at ABN AMRO Bank. “I think there are also signs some investors are ending their recent interest in soybeans and soymeal, and are moving to other commodities.”

Trading volume remained light in each pit, with volumes near the lowest in two months in soybean futures, Reuters data showed. With the harvest nearly done, investors were turning their attention from supply to demand.

Three buying agencies in major corn importer South Korea bought grain from any worldwide origin; supplies from the U.S. were not expected to be competitive, traders said.

Top global wheat importer Egypt issued a tender after the close of trading seeking wheat for shipments between Dec. 21 and 31 — business that has been dominated in recent months by exporters in France, Ukraine, Russia and Romania.

Meanwhile, more competition for U.S. wheat in its home market looms as France is set for its first large shipment of wheat to the U.S. in 12 years as the European Union’s top grain producer tries to clear large stocks of lower quality material from a rain-hit harvest.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on crop commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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