Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and soybean futures retreated on Monday as harvesting accelerated across the Midwest farm belt and sinking energy and equities prices weighed on market sentiment.
Benchmark November soybean futures touched their lowest point in nearly three months, while December corn fell for a third straight session and hit a one-week low. Wheat followed corn and soybeans lower.
World stocks tumbled on Monday and the dollar firmed as troubles at property group China Evergrande sparked concerns about spillover risks to the economy.
“Crude oil is down, stocks are down and everybody’s worried about China and the global economy,” said Ted Seifried, chief ag market strategist for Zaner Ag Hedge Group. “That said, we’re into harvest now… so there’s a lot of seasonality at play here too.”
The U.S. corn harvest is expected to be 10 per cent complete as of Sunday and the soybean harvest was likely five per cent done, according to analysts polled by Reuters ahead of a weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop progress report due later on Monday.
Concerns about a sluggish recovery for Gulf Coast exporters from Hurricane Ida damage last month added pressure to grains as only a small number of export vessels have been able to load from the grain shipping hub since the storm.
The volume of corn and soybeans weighed and inspected for export remained well below normal levels last week, USDA data on Monday showed. Corn export inspections were down 48 per cent from the same week a year ago, while soybean inspections were down 80 per cent.
Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans hit a low of $12.62 a bushel on Monday, the lowest since June 25, and futures ended down 21-1/2 cents at $12.62-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).
December corn was down 5-1/2 cents at $5.21-3/4 a bushel and December wheat was eight cents lower at $7.00-3/4 a bushel.
— Reporting for Reuters by Karl Plume in Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.