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GRAINS-Corn prices near 3-mth low on U.S. crop outlook, soybeans firm

Naveen Thukral

* Chicago corn futures down 2% to weakest since mid-May

* Higher U.S. crop forecast drags down market

* Soybeans rise 1.1% as USDA cuts production forecast

(Adds comment, detail) SINGAPORE, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures lost more ground on Tuesday, dropping to their lowest in nearly three months after a U.S. government forecast for higher-than-expected crop volumes. Soybeans rose more than 1%, underpinned by expectations of lower production, while wheat was little changed after Monday's biggest one-day loss since April 2016. The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade had given up 1.7% to $3.86 a bushel by 0402 GMT, after dropping to its lowest since May 17 at $3.82-1/4 a bushel. Soybeans added 1% to $8.88-1/4 a bushel, while wheat gained 0.1% to $4.72 a bushel. "The market was shocked by the USDA's estimates of both area and yield," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Getting rid of that extra corn takes a lot more chewing, distilling and shipping than the market was expecting." The U.S. corn harvest will be bigger than previously forecast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday, as the government issued a surprise boost to its outlook despite concerns about a wet spring and dry summer. For the 2019/20 crop year, the corn harvest will total 13.901 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 169.5 bushels per acre, the USDA predicted in its monthly supply and demand report. Wheat markets are also facing good world supplies and heavy export competition. Wheat harvesting in Europe is generally progressing well, with work in France almost finished. European Union soft wheat exports in the 2019/20 season that started on July 1 had reached 1.33 million tonnes by Aug. 11, down 30% compared with a year earlier, European Commission data showed on Monday. The USDA lowered its soybean crop estimate to 3.680 billion bushels from 3.845 billion bushels previously. Corn may fall further into a range of $3.50 to $3.71-3/4, as it has broken a support zone of $3.89-1/2 to $3.92-3/4, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters analyst for commodities technicals. It is formed by the 50% retracement of the uptrend from $3.14-3/4 to $4.64 and the 14.6% retracement of the downtrend from $8.49 to $3.14-3/4, he said. China's agriculture ministry on Monday said it had revised down its estimate for 2018/19 soybean imports to 83.5 million tonnes, down 1.5 million tonnes from last month's estimate, due to lower-than-expected shipments in July. The ministry also upgraded its estimate for 2018/19 corn imports to 4 million tonnes, an increase of 700,000 tonnes from the previous month. The revised estimate for corn imports was mainly due to a significant reduction in U.S. sorghum imports, it said. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean and soymeal futures contracts on Monday, traders said. They were net sellers of soyoil futures.

Grains prices at 0402 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 472.00 0.25 +0.05% -5.51% 498.09 34CBOT corn 386.00 -6.75 -1.72% -7.60% 426.57 22CBOT soy 888.25 9.00 +1.02% -0.39% 896.28 45CBOT rice 11.56 -$0.02 -0.13% +17.31% $10.31 47WTI crude 54.81 -$0.12 -0.22% +0.57% $56.42

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.119 -$0.002 -0.22% -0.10%USD/AUD 0.6758 0.001 +0.09% -0.43%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)