U.S. grains: Soy hits 17-month low, corn two-month low

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures touched a 17-month low and corn fell to a roughly two-month low on Thursday, pressured by forecasts for cooler weather conditions that could reduce stress on developing crops, traders and analysts said.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures followed corn lower, declining for the second straight session even as MGEX spring wheat notched gains of about one per cent.

“We’re looking at better weather in the Midwest — that’s been the big driver,” said Price Futures Group broker Jack Scoville. “There’s still a lack of rain, but the cooler temperatures are knocking the stuffing out of this thing.”

“There’s talk of money flowing out of commodities and into equities. That’s adding to the bearish tone,” he said.

Weekly U.S. export sales of soy, corn and wheat were generally in line with estimates, or worse, and the lack of any bullish news anchored corn and soybean prices as a more mild temperatures moved into the U.S. Midwest crop belt.

CBOT July soybean futures settled 14-3/4 cents lower at $9.04 per bushel, lowest since March 2016 (all figures US$). The November soybean contract, which reflects the autumn U.S. harvest, eased 14-1/2 cents to $9.13-1/4 per bushel.

CBOT July corn was down six cents at $3.62-3/4 per bushel, lowest since April 25. CBOT July wheat was off 3-1/4 cents to $4.61-1/4.

Investment funds were net sellers of all three commodities, unloading an estimated 13,000 corn futures contracts, 12,500 soy contracts and 2,500 wheat contracts, traders said.

Wheat prices eased from multimonth highs reached earlier this week. The gains were prompted in part by worries of low protein content in the winter wheat harvest as farmers in the top growing state of Kansas continued to gather their crop.

“The market has already cut forecasts of high-protein spring wheat from Canada and the United States,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

“The U.S. corn crop faces few major weather issues for now. Producers and traders are thus more likely to sell more as they position themselves for a sizeable crop,” Gorey added.

Rainfall was forecast in the coming days in the northern U.S. Plains, while in France the extent of damage was unclear and extreme heat was set to ease from Friday.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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