U.S. grains: Soybeans, wheat fall to lowest since 2010

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. soybean futures fell 1.1 per cent to their lowest in more than four years on Thursday as farmers resumed harvesting in parts of the U.S. Midwest as fields began to dry out, traders said.

Wheat and corn futures fell too, with wheat also hitting its lowest since July 2010, due to poor demand for U.S. supplies on the export market and technical selling.

The drop in soybean prices was tied to weakness in the cash market, with spot basis levels falling in eastern areas of the Midwest as dealers at processing plants reported truck lines at their dumps.

“The yields that are coming in are very, very big,” said Chris Robins, senior trader and analyst at Top Third Ag Marketing in Chicago. “You have a little bit of a perfect storm for the bears.”

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans ended down 11 cents at $9.71-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).

“Cash market prices are dropping as harvest starts, which is pulling the futures market down,” said Kaname Gokon, general manager of research at brokerage Okato Shoji in Tokyo. “We expect prices to remain depressed as supplies flood the market.”

CBOT December soft red winter wheat was 10-3/4 cents lower at $4.88-1/2 a bushel while December corn was down 3-1/2 cents at $3.38-1/4 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Thursday morning that weekly export sales of wheat for the 2014-15 marketing year were 314,500 tonnes, down 55 percent from a week ago and below the range of market forecasts for 450,000 to 650,000 tonnes.

Demand for U.S. exports was pressured by a firm U.S. dollar, which makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive on a relative basis.

The dollar rose to its highest in over four years against a basket of currencies after the Federal Reserve’s guidance on interest rates Wednesday highlighted the diverging pathways between the U.S. and other rich nations.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Nigel Hunt in London.

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