GRAINS-Corn, soy to 6-month lows as wider markets sell-off continues

Julie Ingwersen

(Updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes dateline from previous PARIS/SINGAPORE) CHICAGO, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean futures fell to six-month lows on Thursday as another rout on Wall Street underscored uncertainty about the economic fallout from the coronavirus as well as demand for agricultural commodities, analysts said. Wheat futures followed the weak trend. As of 12:53 p.m. CDT (1753 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade May corn was down 8-1/2 cents at $3.66 per bushel after hitting a life-of-contract low at $3.65, the cheapest price for a most-active corn futures contract on a continuous chart since Sept. 12. CBOT May soybeans were down 14 cents at $8.59-1/4 a bushel after recording a contract low at $8.52-1/4, which was also the lowest price for a most-active soybean contract since Sept. 9. CBOT May wheat was down 5 cents at $5.07-3/4 a bushel, paring losses after touching $4.97-1/4, the contract's lowest since Sept. 30. "The ags are being pulled under along with the rest of the broader markets. Fear shows no partiality," INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman wrote in a note to clients. The Dow Jones index was on course for its worst performance since Wall Street's "Black Monday" crash of 1987, as President Donald Trump's move to curb travel from Europe added to growing distress over the coronavirus pandemic. Fears gripped the commodity markets as well. "People I deal with on the buy side, whether it's importer or end-user, they are worried about health uncertainty. What does it mean for their demand and their companies? So they are scaling back purchases or pulling orders," said Dan Basse, president of Chicago-based AgResource Co. "At the moment, what we are really lacking is buyers to turn things around amid the uncertainty," Basse said. Traders shrugged off bullish corn export data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The government reported export sales of old-crop corn in the week to March 5 at nearly 1.5 million tonnes, above analyst expectations. But soybean export sales were just above 300,000 tonnes, below expectations, and weekly net cancellations of U.S. pork sales to China topped 45,000 tonnes, the most in records dating to 2013.

CBOT prices as of 12:52 p.m. CDT (1752 GMT):

Net Pct Volume

Last change change

CBOT wheat WK0 508.50 -4.25 -0.8 68677CBOT corn CK0 366.00 -8.50 -2.3 169441CBOT soybeans SK0 860.25 -13.00 -1.5 142302CBOT soymeal SMK0 301.70 0.10 0.0 69417CBOT soyoil BOK0 26.49 -1.04 -3.8 82433

NOTE: CBOT May wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per pound.

(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Kirsten Donovan and Cynthia Osterman)