January 24, 2020 / 3:27 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybeans face second weekly loss on uncertainty over Chinese demand

    * Soybeans face headwinds on lack of Chinese demand
    * Strong demand driving corn and wheat prices higher

 (Adds details, quote in paragraphs 9, 10)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures slid
for a third consecutive session on Friday, with the market
poised for a second weekly decline amid pressure from a lack of
Chinese buying.
    Wheat is on track for a third weekly gain, while corn is up
for a second week.
    The most-active Chicago Board of Trade soybean contract
      was down 2.3% so far this week, while corn       gained
0.8% and wheat       climbed 1.6%.
    All three markets were trading marginally lower by 0308 GMT.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has not confirmed
agricultural sales to China since the countries signed an
initial trade agreement last week, in which Beijing pledged to
increase imports of American farm products.
    The United States is expected to face stiff competition for
soybean export sales from Brazil, where farmers are set to bring
in massive harvests. 
    China is the world's top soybean importer and turned to
Brazil, instead of the United States, for supplies during the
height of the trade war.
    Gains in the corn and wheat markets have been underpinned by
strong demand. 
    "Some largish export sales announced by the USDA helped the
mood," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at
Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    "And, perhaps now with wheat prices more firmly established
at higher levels, the relative feed costs can support higher
corn prices."
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters
sold 141,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to unknown destinations for
2019/20 delivery and another 143,948 tonnes to Guatemala.
    The International Grains Council on Thursday raised its
forecast for global corn production in the 2019-20 season,
driven mainly by upward revisions for China and the United
    In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body increased
its global corn crop forecast by 8 million tonnes to 1.111
billion tonnes, still below the previous season's 1.129 billion
    Recent rains in Argentina have helped corn and soybean
development in the South American nation during its hot summer
months, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday.
    Farmers are nearly done planting an estimated 6.3 million
hectares of corn and 17.4 million hectares for the oilseed, the
exchange said.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat and
soymeal futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of soybean
and soyoil futures, traders said.              

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips
and Shailesh Kuber)
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