December 20, 2017 / 3:09 AM / 6 months ago

GRAINS-Soybeans near 2-1/2-month low as Argentina rains weigh on prices

    * Soybeans edge higher after 4 sessions of decline
    * Wheat eases for second session, corn gains ground

 (Adds details, quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures ticked
higher on Wednesday after declining for the last four sessions
to their lowest since early October on pressure from
crop-boosting rains across Argentina's drought-hit farm belt.
    Wheat dipped but losses were limited by expectations of
improved demand for U.S. wheat which has struggled to win
business due to stiff competition from the Black Sea region.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract
 was up 0.1 percent at $9.57 a bushel by 0254 GMT, while
wheat eased 0.1 percent to $4.19-1/4 a bushel.
    Corn gained 0.1 percent to $3.47-3/4 a bushel.
    Brazil and Argentina are on track for another year of bumper
soybean production as rains ease concerns over dry weather
brought by the La Nina weather pattern. 
    Rains that fell on Argentina's main farm belt over the
weekend brought relief to parched soybean and corn-growing land,
meteorologists said on Monday, allowing the planting of crops to
resume in most of the affected areas.
    Brazilian farmers are expected to produce 114.57 million
tonnes of soybeans in the 2017/18 crop cycle, consultancy Safras
& Mercado said on Monday. The figure represents a slight
downward adjustment from an October estimate of 114.7 million
tonnes, although it would still be an all-time high for Brazil.
    "There is not much upside potential for soybeans as there is
so much inventory in the U.S. and the weather has improved in
Argentina," said one Singapore-based trader.
    "U.S. wheat is quite competitive in the Asian market as
Australia prices have been moving higher due to quality issues."
    Australia, a key wheat exporter to Asia, has seen adverse
weather this year, hitting yields as well as the quality of
    In the United States recent price declines in wheat have
attracted fresh export interest. U.S. wheat was the cheapest
origin grain offered in an Iraqi tender for hard milling wheat.

    Commodity funds were net buyers of Chicago Board of Trade
corn and soyoil contracts on Tuesday and net sellers of
soybeans, soymeal and wheat, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0254 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  419.25  -0.25   -0.06%   +0.24%       432.75  67
 CBOT corn   347.75  0.25    +0.07%   +0.07%       353.64  67
 CBOT soy    957.00  1.00    +0.10%   -1.06%       985.36  26
 CBOT rice   11.80   $0.09   +0.73%   +0.81%       $12.03  46
 WTI crude   57.76   $0.20   +0.35%   +1.05%       $57.09  57
 Euro/dlr    $1.184  $0.001  +0.04%   +0.53%               
 USD/AUD     0.7659  0.000   -0.07%   -0.03%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sunil Nair and
Subhranshu Sahu)
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