March 5, 2020 / 4:38 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-U.S. soybeans extend gains on demand hopes after rival Argentina raises taxes

* Argentina’s export seen boosting demand for U.S. beans

* Corn eases after 4 days of gains, wheat up after deep losses (Adds economist comment, wheat and corn price moves, details on Argentina tax, broader markets)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, March 5 (Reuters) - Chicago soybeans futures gained for a fourth consecutive session on Thursday, driven by expectations of higher demand for U.S. supplies after rival exporter Argentina raised taxes.

Wheat edged up after Wednesday’s sharp decline, while corn lost ground for the first time in five sessions.

“We know that the coronavirus has slowed down global trade in agriculture products and caused wild swings in broader equity and commodity markets,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

“For soybeans, there is pretty good supplies but there could be higher demand for U.S. beans, given the higher taxes in Argentina.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade added 0.3% to $9.09-3/4 a bushel by 0401 GMT, having firmed 0.4% on Wednesday.

Corn lost 0.4% to $3.83-1/2 a bushel, having gained 1% in the previous session, and wheat was up 0.3% at $5.19-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 1.7% on Wednesday.

Argentina plans to raise taxes on soybean, soyoil and soymeal exports to 33% from 30%, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday, as the government moves to increase revenue ahead of a planned sovereign bond restructuring.

The tax increase that Argentina is set to impose on exports of soy and its byproducts will drive down farm investment and likely result in smaller harvests going forward, farmers and economists said on Wednesday, a day after the new tax policy was announced.

There was additional support for agricultural markets stemming from gains in equity markets.

Asian shares rallied for a fourth straight session on Thursday as U.S. markets swung sharply higher and another dose of central bank stimulus offered some salve for the global economic outlook.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate cut on Tuesday was among several measures from policymakers to counter the impact of the coronavirus, which originated in China late last year and has since upset global supply chains, travel and production.

China, the world’s top soybean importer, buys soybeans from Brazil at this time of year. But China is expected to buy U.S. soy in late spring and summer, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Congress. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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