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Soybeans steady after 3-day drop as USDA report nears

Soybeans steady after 3-day drop as USDA report nears

Thu Jan 11 2018


Chicago soybean futures edged higher on Thursday as the market paused following three sessions of declines and ahead of US government crop data expected to show rising stocks.


Wheat dipped for the first time in three sessions as traders weighed up the prospect of a further drop in US wheat sowings against stiff export competition in a well supplied global market.


Corn was almost unchanged.


Grain markets are bracing for crop reports from the US Department of Agriculture on Friday, with analysts notably expecting the USDA to boost US soybean stocks after a record-large harvest and faltering exports.


Investors were also awaiting weekly US export sales data at 1330 GMT for an update on overseas demand.


The Chicago Board Of Trade most-active soybean contract edged up a quarter of a cent to $9.55-1/4 a bushel by 1244 GMT. On Wednesday, prices hit their lowest since Dec. 22 at $9.51-3/4.


“US soybean exports are surprisingly slow and I think it is because of quality issues,” said one India-based agricultural commodities analyst at an international bank.


“It is difficult for US soybean exports to recover now as Brazilian new-crop supplies will hit the market at the beginning of February.”


Brazilian soybean output is expected to reach 114 million tons in 2017/18, almost matching last year’s record crop, consultancy AgRural said.


CBOT wheat inched down 0.5 percent to $4.32-1/4 a bushel, consolidating after a near-one week high touched during the previous session. Corn ticked up 0.1 percent to $3.49-1/4 a bushel.


Expectations that the USDA will peg US winter wheat seedings below last season’s level in its first estimate on Friday have lent some support to wheat prices following recent weather concerns in the US Plains.


However, weather risks were not seen as severe enough to shake up a global market with large inventories and strong export competition led by Russia.


Farming agency FranceAgriMer lowered its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the EU this season for a third straight month on Wednesday, predicting 9.3 million tons versus 9.5 million last month.


“This number looks optimistic considering the current pace of shipments and the large volumes exported by Russia, added to the high competitiveness of Argentinian origins,” consultancy Agritel said in a note.


Source: Reuters

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