U.S. grains: Soy leads corn lower as supply concerns ease

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell 1.7 per cent at the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday, dropping below US$14 a bushel for the first time since March 24, on the easing of pressure on the U.S. balance sheet, traders said.

Corn also weakened, hitting a 4-1/2-month low, while wheat firmed on moderate bargain buying after touching its lowest since Feb. 10.

Expectations of a large U.S. harvest of both corn and soybeans also weighed on prices after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly conditions report on Monday afternoon showed that both crops were thriving across the Midwest during their early stages of development.

Soybean futures posted the biggest drop, with investment funds selling on reports of weakness in the cash market that indicated that elevators and processors will have enough supplies to last them until harvest.

“We have got liquidation pressure,” said Bill Gentry, a broker at Risk Management Commodities. “What we hear on the commercial side of the equation is that the imports seem to be satisfying the needs for the crushers and there is no sense of urgency right this minute.”

CBOT July soybeans settled down 23-1/2 cents at $13.98-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$). Prices hit a low of $13.95-3/4.

Soymeal futures also weakened, hitting a three-month low due to a glut of supplies. China’s decision to halt imports of U.S. distillers dried grains boosted the amount of feed available to domestic livestock and poultry producers, prompting some to trim the amount of soymeal in their rations in favour of the DDGs.

CBOT July corn was 2-1/4 cents lower at $4.38-3/4 a bushel and CBOT July wheat was up 3/4 cent at $5.81-3/4 a bushel after dipping to $5.76-3/4.

“Recent lows are under fire on the charts once again,” Matt Zeller, director of market information at INTL FCStone, said in a note to clients.

The U.S. corn crop was rated 76 per cent good to excellent as of June 15, the best mid-June rating for the crop since a 77 per cent reading in 1994, according to USDA’s weekly crop conditions and progress report.

Soybean ratings weakened by one percentage point, dropping below analysts’ expectations, to 73 per cent good to excellent. That was still the best mid-June rating for soybeans on record.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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