U.S. grains: Soy drops for eighth straight session

CBOT corn, wheat firm

soybean harvest
(Photo courtesy United Soybean Board)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell for the eighth session in a row on Wednesday, retreating after posting early gains when a report showed that processors crushed fewer beans than expected in February.

Wheat and corn futures closed firm, with both grains supported by hopes that recent price declines have made U.S. supplies more attractive to overseas buyers.

Traders also said that bargain buyers helped support the grains after declines on Tuesday pushed corn to its lowest since Feb. 1 and wheat to its lowest since Feb. 8.

“Technical buying is taking place as prices are considered a bargain,” Ridge Erdmann of CHS Hedging said in a note to clients.

CBOT May soybeans dropped 1-1/4 cents to close at $9.98 a bushel (all figures US$). Prices turned lower after the most-active contract failed to break through Tuesday’s high but the market held support above the 2-1/2-month low hit earlier this week.

Soybeans have fallen 3.9 per cent during the losing streak.

The National Oilseed Processors Association said its members crushed a smaller-than-expected 142.792 million bushels of soybeans during February, the smallest monthly total since September.

Analysts said the plentiful global soybean supply outlook would continue to drag on prices, with a record crop expected in Brazil and new indications U.S. farmers will raise soybean production for next season.

CBOT May soft red winter wheat settled up 5-1/2 cents at $4.36 a bushel.

Wheat was buoyed throughout the day by hopes that Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, would include U.S. supplies in its latest deal. Excluding shipping costs, U.S. soft white wheat was the cheapest wheat offered in an Egyptian government tender for supplies, traders said.

But Egypt’s state grain buyer said after the close that it would purchase Russian, French and Ukrainian wheat.

A weakening dollar, which also helps boosts export demand U.S. wheat, added more strength.

CBOT May corn was 1-1/4 cents higher at $3.63-1/2 a bushel.

U.S. corn created some interest on the global market despite big crop expectations for Argentina and South America.

Taiwan’s maize industry procurement association (MFIG) also purchased about 65,000 tonnes of corn likely to be sourced from the United States in an international tender on Wednesday.

“U.S. Gulf corn is now priced a little more competitively,” said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager at INTL FCStone. “China is in the headlines buying a few U.S. cargos for possible blending purposes.”

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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