U.S. grains: Corn drops to three-week low

Soybeans ease despite crop rating fall as China news weighed

CBOT July 2020 corn with 20- and 50-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures fell for a second straight session on Tuesday and touched a three-week low on an unexpected rise in government crop condition ratings and favorable U.S. Midwest weather that was seen bolstering the recently planted crop.

Soybean prices also eased, despite a decline in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) weekly crop rating for the oilseed, as the weather outlook remained broadly favourable for U.S. Midwest crops after a recent dry spell.

Wheat firmed on short-covering after prices touched multi-month lows late last week, although improving prospects for northern hemisphere harvests continued to hang over the market.

Chicago Board of Trade July corn futures fell 3-1/4 cents to $3.25 a bushel, after earlier dropping to its weakest since June 3 (all figures US$). July soybeans were down 1-1/4 cents at $8.75 a bushel and CBOT July wheat was up one cent at $4.86 a bushel.

Selling in corn and soybeans was fueled by recent U.S. crop-boosting rains and expectations that a high-pressure ridge forecast to bring crop-stressing heat next week could be short-lived.

“The weather forecast for the next couple of weeks looks fairly favorable,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodities analyst with Futures International.

USDA rated 72 per cent of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition in its weekly crop progress report, up one percentage point from a week ago. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a slight decline.

Soybean traders were assessing developments in China after a recent flurry of soybean purchases and news that some Chinese buyers are asking exporters to guarantee shipments are free of the novel coronavirus.

The soy market rebounded from early lows after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro walked back an earlier comment that the U.S.-China trade pact was “over.”

— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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