Top Stories
Top Stories
Wires

GRAINS-Corn, soy ease on warmer U.S. weather, wheat harvest expands

Barbara Smith

* Warmer U.S. weather bolsters crop prospects

* Corn extends losses as planted acres top trade expectations

* Traders shrug off support from U.S.-China trade talks

(Updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline) CHICAGO, July 1 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean and corn futures were lower on Monday, turning lower after early strength, pressured by outlooks for improved U.S. crop weather that should boost crop production prospects, analysts said. Wheat futures also fell on pressure from the expanding U.S. harvest and fund-driven long liquidation. The August soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 13-1/4 cents to $8.91-1/4 a bushel by 12:27 p.m. (1727 GMT) and new-crop November was down 13-1/4 cents at $9.09-3/4 after reaching $9.34-1/4, the highest for a most-active contract since June 2018. Corn shed 9 cents at $4.15-3/4 a bushel, while September wheat was down 16 cents to $5.11-1/4. Corn and soybeans fell on improving crop weather including warmer Midwest temperatures over the weekend and beneficial rains in northern areas. "Temperatures were well above normal across the corn belt over the weekend, accelerating crop growth," space technology company Maxar said in a weather note to clients. Ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report later on Monday, analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected the government to raise its crop condition ratings for both crops. Both corn and soybean futures were higher in early moves, supported by a thaw in U.S.-China trade relations following talks between the two nations. The United States and China agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks after President Donald Trump offered concessions including no new tariffs and an easing of restrictions on tech company Huawei in order to reduce tensions with Beijing.

However, grain traders expressed doubts following a trade war that has lasted nearly a year. "Traders are shrugging these talks off," said Terry Reilly, senior commodities analyst at Futures International. "We've heard this all before." Reilly added that trade is relatively quiet after last week's USDA acreage and stocks reports and the upcoming U.S. Independence Day holiday. The USDA on Friday surprised traders by estimating U.S. 2019 corn plantings at 91.7 million acres, topping trade expectations. Corn futures plunged Friday despite widespread belief the actual acreage figure was considerably lower and could be amended in the government's Aug. 12 report. Wheat futures sagged as the U.S. winter wheat harvest expanded amid drier weather and technical selling. Ahead of the USDA's weekly crop progress report, analysts expected the USDA to show the harvest as 30% complete, up from 15% a week ago. "Going into the third quarter, traders don't want to be long," said Brian Hoops with Midwest Marketing Solutions. The supplement to the CFTC's weekly commitments report showed large speculators widened their net long position in CBOT corn by more than 48,000 lots in the week to June 25, to 148,237 lots, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

CBOT prices as of 12:27 p.m. CDT (1727 GMT):

Net Pct VolumeLast change changeCBOT wheat WU9 511.50 -15.75 -3.0 56559CBOT corn CU9 416.00 -8.75 -2.1 150867CBOT soybeans SQ9 891.50 -13.00 -1.4 25767CBOT soymeal SMQ9 308.00 -7.30 -2.3 21867CBOT soyoil BOQ9 28.23 -0.14 -0.5 19073

NOTE: CBOT September wheat and corn and August soybeans shown in cents per bushel, August soymeal in dollars per short ton and August soyoil in cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; editing by David Evans and Chizu Nomiyama)