February 21, 2019 / 4:51 AM / 2 months ago

GRAINS-Chicago wheat firms after 4-session tumble, soybeans ease

    * Wheat firms after dropping almost 8 percent in 4 sessions
    * Soybeans fall after closing up, focus on U.S.-China trade
talks

 (Adds details, quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    Feb 21 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures edged higher on
Thursday as the market took a breather after falling nearly 8
percent over the past four sessions, triggered by a lack of
demand for U.S. supplies.
    Soybeans slid after closing higher on Wednesday with the
market focused on a Washington-Beijing trade deal which could
boost U.S. bean exports to China.
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade
 was up 0.4 percent at $4.82-1/2 a bushel by 0412 GMT. It
closed down 1.8 percent on Wednesday, when prices hit their
lowest since July 12 at $4.75-3/4 a bushel.
    Soybeans were down 0.1 percent at $9.01-1/2 a bushel
and corn was up 0.1 percent at $3.71 a bushel.
    U.S. wheat has been uncompetitive in global export markets.
    "We have yet to see demand pick up for U.S. wheat," said one
New Delhi-based international grains broker. "European wheat is 
still competitive and buyers are drawing down stocks."
    Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply
Commodities, said on Wednesday it had bought 180,000 tonnes of
French wheat, 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat, 60,000 tonnes of
Russian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat.
    Still, declining global stocks are limiting losses in the
wheat market.
    "After 4-5 fat years we are looking at severely shrinking
stocks," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at
brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. "The current selloff
belies the underlying supply and demand movements."
    In the soybean market, the spotlight is on U.S.-China trade
talks.
    The United States and China have started to outline
commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their trade
dispute, marking the most significant progress yet toward ending
a seven-month trade war, according to sources familiar with the
negotiations.
    Brazil is expected to export 70.2 million tonnes of soybeans
in 2019, consultancy Agroconsult said on Wednesday, cutting its
previous forecast of 73 million tonnes as a trade war between
China and the United States will be less favourable to Brazil
this year.
    But African swine fever in China could curb demand for
soybeans which are used to feed pigs. 
    China's agriculture ministry said on Wednesday it the
country's African swine fever outbreak continues to spread,
hitting the major livestock production province of Shandong in
the east for the first time. Soybeans are often used to make
animal feed ingredient soymeal.
    
 Grains prices at 0412 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  482.50  1.75    +0.36%   -1.48%       514.63  19
 CBOT corn   371.00  0.25    +0.07%   +0.34%       377.05  37
 CBOT soy    901.50  -1.00   -0.11%   +0.08%       912.05  39
 CBOT rice   10.18   $0.01   +0.10%   +1.95%       $10.62  32
 WTI crude   57.43   $0.27   +0.47%   +2.39%       $53.51  
 Currencies                                                
 Euro/dlr    $1.135  $0.002  +0.13%   +0.09%               
 USD/AUD     0.7161  0.000   -0.03%   -0.03%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
            

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford and
Richard Pullin)
  
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