January 30, 2020 / 3:42 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybeans fall for 8th session on China demand concerns

* Soybeans trade near 6-week low, down for 8th session in a row

* Wheat little changed after dropping for last 4 days; corn up (Adds details, quote in paragraph 3)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures slid for an eighth consecutive session on Thursday, trading near a six-week low hit earlier this week, as the coronavirus outbreak added to fears that promised Chinese purchases of U.S. farm goods will not materialise.

Wheat was largely unchanged after closing lower for the past four sessions, while corn gained ground.

“Everyone is focussed on the virus which could hurt economic growth and curb demand,” said one Singapore-based trader at an international trading company.

“Wheat prices are falling as the market had climbed too high, given the supply situation. There is no shortage of wheat.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) slipped 0.2% to $8.91-1/2 a bushel by 0315 GMT, having closed down 0.2% on Wednesday. The market dropped to its weakest since mid-December at $8.88-1/4 a bushel on Monday.

Wheat was up 0.04% at $5.62-1/2 a bushel and corn gained 0.1% to $3.84-1/2 a bushel.

The Chicago wheat market jumped last week to its highest since August 2018.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday he does not know whether China’s coronavirus outbreak will affect Beijing’s pledge to radically increase purchases of American farm goods under the Phase 1 deal signed on Jan. 15.

The virus has added to doubts about Chinese demand after an absence of fresh purchases in the wake of the deal.

The total number of confirmed deaths from the newly identified pathogen in China rose by 38 to 170 and infections also jumped.

Russia plans to set up quota on grain exports each marketing season, which lasts from July 1 to June 30, the Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut as saying on Wednesday.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said. They were net buyers of soyoil futures. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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