August 16, 2019 / 3:45 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Corn faces biggest weekly loss in 3 years on U.S. crop outlook

    * Corn down nearly 11% this week, most since June 2016
    * USDA's forecast of bigger U.S. crop weighs on corn prices

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures ticked
higher on Friday, but the market was set for its biggest weekly
drop in three years, driven down by expectations of a bigger
U.S. crop.
    Soybeans gained ground after dropping for the last two
sessions, however the market was poised for a weekly loss,
falling for four out of five weeks.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract
is down almost 11% this week, the biggest decline since June
2016. Soybeans have given up nearly 2% while wheat
is down around 5%.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) surprised the
market this week with a higher estimate for corn production
despite historic planting delays.
    Forecasts for good weather for crop development across much
of the U.S. Midwest during the next few weeks cast a bearish
tone across the grains markets.
    "Weather forecasts look favourable for the crop, but still
great conjecture around the crop size and not many believe in
the USDA numbers," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services
at brokerage IKON Commodities.
    "So, I think markets have done too much work to the
downside."
    The U.S. soybean crush in July topped most trade estimates
and surged from a 21-month low in June to the sixth-highest for
any month on record, according to National Oilseed Processors
Association (NOPA) data released on Thursday.
    NOPA members, which handle about 95% of all soybeans
processed in the United States, crushed 168.093 million bushels
of soybeans in July, the highest-ever for the month and the
largest monthly crush since March.
    The USDA on Thursday morning reported export sales of
old-crop U.S. corn in the week ended Aug. 8 below trade
expectations at 56,200 tonnes and new-crop sales within
expectations at 307,600 tonnes.
    The government said weekly net export sales of soybeans
added up to cancellations of 109,800 tonnes for the current
marketing year. New-crop soybean export sales totalled a
better-than-expected 817,400 tonnes.
    Export sales of U.S. wheat were 462,200 tonnes, near the
high end of a range of trade expectations.
    Strategie Grains has made a sharp increase to its forecasts
for European Union production and exports of soft wheat this
season, citing strong harvest expectations in France and Britain
together with increasingly competitive EU export prices.

    The French consultancy now sees 2019-20 soft wheat
production in the EU at 142.9 million tonnes, up from 140.6
million tonnes projected in July and 12% above last year's
drought-hit crop, it said in a monthly grain report.
    
 Grains prices at 0323 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  470.50  1.50     +0.32%   -0.32%       495.66  35
 CBOT corn   372.75  1.75     +0.47%   -1.00%       422.19  21
 CBOT soy    875.50  4.75     +0.55%   -1.52%       894.51  48
 CBOT rice   11.31   -$0.01   -0.09%   -1.27%       $11.77  32
 WTI crude   55.06   $0.59    +1.08%   -0.31%       $56.29  
 Currencies                                                 
 Euro/dlr    $1.110  -$0.004  -0.35%   -0.63%               
 USD/AUD     0.6792  0.005    +0.67%   -0.12%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
    

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Shounak Dasgupta)
  
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