July 1, 2020 / 1:41 AM / 5 days ago

GRAINS-Corn falls from 3-month high, USDA estimates cap losses

SYDNEY, July 1 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures edged lower on Wednesday, falling from a three-month high touched in the previous session, although forecasts for a smaller U.S. crop provided a floor to losses.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.2% at $3.41 a bushel, having gained 4.7% in the previous session when prices hit a March 30 high of $3.46 a bushel.

* The most active soybean futures were down 0.1% at $8.81 a bushel, having firmed 1.8% on Tuesday when prices hit a April 1 high of $8.87 a bushel.

* The most active wheat futures were down 0.3% at$4.90-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 1.1% on Tuesday.

* U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated American farmers planted 92 million acres of corn this spring, a figure that fell short of analyst expectations.

* The USDA’s corn planting figure was about 5 million acres below its March 31 forecast of 97 million acres, the biggest March-to-June drop since 1983.

* The USDA put U.S. plantings at 83.8 million acres, up a bit from its March forecast but below most analyst expectations.

MARKET NEWS

** The S&P 500 rallied on Tuesday to finish higher and secure its biggest quarterly percentage gain in more than two decades as improving economic data bolstered investor beliefs that a stimulus-backed rebound for the U.S. economy was on the horizon.

* The dollar slipped on Tuesday, alternating between gains and losses, as markets digested less bearish comments from U.S. monetary officials along with a more dire prognosis from the country’s top medical expert on the spread of the novel coronavirus.

* Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as investors worried that rising COVID-19 cases would hurt demand while supply could rise with a potential resurgence of Libyan oil production, which has slowed to a trickle since the start of the year.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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