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GRAINS-Corn drops for second session as U.S. weather improves; soybeans fall

Naveen Thukral

* Corn falls 1 pct on forecasts of dry U.S. Midwest next week

* Soybeans struggle under pressure from U.S.-China trade war

(Adds details, quote) SINGAPORE, May 9 (Reuters) - Chicago corn slid 1 percent on Thursday, falling for a second session as forecasts for dry weather next week in parts of the U.S. Midwest boosted hopes that farmers will be able to catch up on planting. Soybeans lost ground amid Washington-Beijing trade tensions, which curbed U.S. soybean exports to China. The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade dropped 1 percent to $3.60-3/4 a bushel by 0402 GMT. Soybeans fell 0.5 percent to $8.23-1/2 a bushel and wheat lost 0.8 percent to $4.35-1/2 a bushel. The spotlight is on weather across the U.S. Midwest after weeks of rain put corn plantings behind the average pace. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) noted in an outlook that the National Weather Service forecast below-normal rainfall in the Midwest during May 13-17. The agency on Monday said 23 percent of the corn crop had been planted, below the five-year average of 46 percent. Expectations for the USDA to estimate ample crop inventories are further pressuring agriculture markets. The USDA, in a report on Friday, will peg 2018-19 U.S. corn ending stocks at 2.055 billion bushels, up from 2.035 billion last month, and soybean stocks at 920 million bushels, up from 895 million in April, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Wheat ending stocks are expected to swell to 1.097 billion bushels from 1.087 billion. U.S.-China trade war is weighing on the soybean market although the market was optimistic amid on going talk between the two nations. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be happy to keep tariffs on Chinese imports as the two countries prepare for new talks to try to rescue a faltering trade deal amid a sharp increase in U.S. duties. "We, and many others, think that there is probably not enough time to avoid the tariff imposition on Friday," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "But that of itself will not de-rail the negotiations." Soybeans were the single most valuable U.S. agricultural export crop and before the trade war, China bought $12 billion-worth a year from U.S. farmers. The dispute, however, has slashed shipments of American beans to China. China's soymeal futures rallied more than 2 percent on Thursday in their biggest daily gain since October 2018, amid renewed Sino-U.S. trade tension.

Grains prices at 0402 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 435.50 -3.50 -0.80% -0.40% 454.57 46CBOT corn 360.75 -3.50 -0.96% -0.96% 367.88 47CBOT soy 823.50 -3.75 -0.45% -0.81% 884.42 9CBOT rice 10.96 $0.01 +0.09% +2.43% $10.75 69WTI crude 61.64 -$0.48 -0.77% +0.39% $63.18

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.119 $0.000 -0.01% -0.07%USD/AUD 0.6974 -0.004 -0.53% -0.21%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich)