July 20, 2020 / 3:22 AM / 18 days ago

GRAINS-Soybeans rise for 5th session on strong demand, corn eases

* Soybeans climb to highest since July 10 on Chinese demand

* Corn falls on concerns over energy demand amid coronavirus (Adds details on Brazilian output, CFTC report; quote in paragraphs 3-4)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, July 20 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures rose for a fifth consecutive session on Monday to their highest since July 10 on strong demand, even as expectations of crop-friendly weather and ample world supplies capped gains.

Corn lost ground as weakness in oil prices raised demand concerns for the grain-based fuel ethanol.

“There is a bit of support in the soybean market on the back of Chinese demand but we are sceptical about China being a large scale buyer of U.S. agriculture products,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank in Melbourne.

“For corn, there is pressure due to oil demand destruction.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.4% at $8.98-3/4 a bushel by 0253 GMT, after climbing to its highest since July 10 to $8.99 a bushel earlier in the session.

Corn fell 0.3% to $3.38-3/4 a bushel and wheat slipped 0.2% to $5.33-3/4 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday confirmed sales of 126,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations, bringing the total for U.S. soy sales announcements last week to 1.5 million tonnes, including about 1 million tonnes to China.

National Oilseed Processors Association last week reported that soyoil stocks among its U.S. members fell more than expected to 1.778 billion pounds last month from 1.880 billion at the end of May.

Brazil’s 2020/2021 soybean production is expected to reach 131.7 million tonnes, a 5.4% increase over the prior crop year, consultancy Safras & Mercado said on Friday, in its first prediction for the new crop year.

Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to July 14, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net short position in CBOT wheat and cut their net long position in soybeans.

Oil prices dipped on Monday, weighed down by the prospect that a rise in the pace of coronavirus infections could derail a recovery in fuel demand. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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