U.S. grains: Soybeans fall amid global export setbacks

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures tumbled on Thursday, with the most-active March contract down 1.6 per cent, the largest drop for soybeans in more than a month, after exporters canceled U.S. soybean sales to China.

Chicago Board of Trade March wheat ended 4-1/4 cents lower at $4.72-1/4 per bushel, after hitting a one-month high earlier this week (all figures US$).

March corn closed 3-3/4 cents down at $3.65-1/2 per bushel, while March soybeans settled 15-1/4 cents lower at $8.67-3/4 a bushel, with the front-month contract hitting its lowest since Jan. 6.

“Beans were mostly flat overnight, but an announcement by the USDA of cancellations of sales to the Chinese sent the willies through the futures and crashed the market through chart selling,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital, said in a note to clients.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters canceled the sale of 395,000 tonnes of soybeans to China for delivery in the 2015-16 marketing year on Thursday.

Chinese companies have ordered more than 20 cargoes, equivalent to 1.2 million tonnes of corn, mostly from Ukraine, for shipment in the first quarter, a government think tank said Thursday.

Russia’s news to lift or reduce export taxes on wheat and China cancelling the U.S. exports of soybeans is fuelling negativity in the market, analysts said.

“The bottom line is that we’re probably going to struggle to hit our export targets,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist for INTL FCStone.

Chinese companies have ordered more than 20 cargoes, equivalent to 1.2 million tonnes of corn, mostly from Ukraine, for shipment in the first quarter, a government think tank said on Thursday.

In Argentina, a drought has caused corn crop losses in some areas despite the El Nino weather phenomenon which usually triggers heavy rains in South America, an analyst at the country’s main grains exchange said. But severe harvest shortfalls were not expected.

“Over the next 10 days, very little rainfall is expected across eastern Argentina, which will allow dryness to increase across Entre Rios… Significant head is not expected, however, which will help to limit crop stress,” MDA Weather Services said in a note to clients.

Justin Madden reports on crop commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide.

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