May 18, 2020 / 2:20 AM / 15 days ago

GRAINS-Wheat extends losses as bumper global stocks weigh

SYDNEY, May 18 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell for a second consecutive session on Monday as ample global stocks and sluggish demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic pushed prices to their lowest in nearly a month.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade fell 0.2% to $4.99-1/2 a bushel by 0154 GMT, having closed 0.4% lower on Friday.

* The most-active soybean futures rose 0.3% to $8.40-3/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.2% on Friday.

* The most-active corn futures were 0.6% higher at $3.20-3/4, having gained 0.6% in the previous session.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week projected that U.S. wheat exports would decline in 2020/21 from the previous year, while exports from Russia, Australia, Canada and Argentina would increase.

* Much-needed showers have bolstered crop prospects in Europe, projected as the world’s No. 2 wheat supplier after Russia.

* The soft wheat crop in France had deteriorated in the week to May 11, with 55% of crops rated good or excellent against 57% a week earlier, farm office FranceAgriMer said.

* The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said its members processed 171.754 million bushels of soybeans last month, just above an average of trade expectations for 170.483 million.

* China is set to speed up purchases of U.S. farm goods and will implement the Phase 1 trade deal signed in January with the United States, state-owned trading house COFCO said.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar held its ground on Monday as concern about global tensions with China overshadowed improving sentiment from easing coronavirus lockdowns, while talk of negative interest rates pushed the pound to an almost two-month low.

* Oil prices jumped by more than $1 a barrel on Monday to their highest in more than a month, supported by ongoing output cuts and signs of gradual recovery in fuel demand as more countries ease curbs imposed to stop the coronavirus pandemic spreading. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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