U.S. grains: Soybeans fall for seventh day, corn dips as crops thrive

Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. soybean futures fell for the seventh straight session on Tuesday, and corn slid lower for a sixth day as favourable weather around the Midwest buoyed forecasts of record crops this autumn.

Wheat prices were narrowly mixed after hitting a four-year low the previous day, with prices anchored by rising supplies from an accelerating harvest and weak export demand for the U.S. crop.

Some investors were positioning ahead of Friday’s monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture supply and demand report, which was expected to show higher old-crop soybean ending stocks and record-large corn and soybean harvests.

Despite pockets of excessive moisture and flooding, crop development conditions around the Midwest have been largely ideal. Corn this month is entering its critical pollination stage, a period when excessive heat and dryness can clip yields.

USDA on Monday reported that the corn crop was in the best shape for early July in 15 years and that soy crop conditions were the best in 20 years.

“Weather outlooks are still suggesting below-normal temperatures for corn pollination and so far no threat for soybean production in the July/August time frame,” said Rich Nelson, chief strategist with Illinois-based consultancy Allendale Inc.

Chicago Board Of Trade July soybeans plunged 33-1/4 cents, or 2.4 per cent, to a 4-1/2 month low of $13.29-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$). The spot contract has dropped 7.5 per cent in a seven-session slide, the longest losing streak since February 2009.

New-crop November soybeans fell 9-1/4 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $11.16-1/4.

Commodity funds sold an estimated net 6,000 soybean contracts on the day, trade sources said.

CBOT December corn declined two cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $4.04-1/4 a bushel. Lightly traded July eased by a penny to $4.08-1/4 after hitting a four-year, spot-contract low on Monday.

U.S. wheat prices remained anchored by plentiful supplies amid an advancing harvest across the Northern Hemisphere.

Falling wheat prices have stirred some demand from importers, but cheaper Black Sea production has pushed U.S. wheat out of the frame in a string of tenders. Egypt’s GASC, which has bought mostly Black Sea wheat in recent tenders, issued a fresh tender on Tuesday for late-August shipment.

Meanwhile, an outlook for higher global bulk shipping rates further dampened the export outlook for U.S. wheat shippers. [Related story]

CBOT September wheat shed 1/2 cent to $5.56-1/4 a bushel after posting its steepest percentage drop since March 2013 in the previous session.

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

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