September 4, 2019 / 9:26 PM / 3 months ago

GRAINS-Corn extends slide on U.S. crop prospects; wheat, soy higher

 (Updates with closing U.S. prices)
    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures fell for a
third straight session on Wednesday, setting life-of-contract
lows as improving crop ratings and benign weather forecasts
raised confidence in U.S. harvest prospects, traders said.
    Wheat rose, with benchmark Chicago wheat rebounding from a
three-month low set a day earlier and K.C. and Minneapolis hard
wheat futures bouncing from multi-year lows.
    Soybean futures firmed on news of fresh U.S. export sales to
Mexico while advances in crude oil and Wall Street equity
markets added support.
    Chicago Board of Trade December corn settled down
2-1/2 cents at $3.58-1/2 per bushel after dipping to a contract
low at $3.56-1/2.
    CBOT December wheat ended up 7-1/4 cents at $4.60-3/4
a bushel and November soybeans rose 7 cents to settle at
$8.75-1/2 a bushel. 
    Corn extended its slide after the U.S. Department of
Agriculture late Tuesday rated 58% of the U.S. corn crop in
good-to-excellent condition, up from 57% the previous week, in
line with trade expectations. 
    The crop's development is behind normal following widespread
spring planting delays, but forecasts call for seasonal
temperatures throughout September that should prolong the
Midwest growing season, raising the odds that crops will have
time to mature.
    "The trade looks at the 16-to-30-day (weather forecast) maps
and sees no frost-freeze. That was enough to get weak longs out
of the market," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S.
    After the CBOT close, commodity brokerage INTL FCStone
 raised its estimate of the average U.S. 2019 corn yield
to 168.4 bushels per acre, from 167.4 in its previous monthly
report released on Aug. 1.
    Wheat futures advanced on short covering and a weaker U.S.
dollar, which makes U.S. grains more competitive on the
global export market. The dollar fell as risk sentiment improved
amid easing global political worries.
    Front-month K.C. hard red winter wheat rallied from a
14-year low set Tuesday while Minneapolis Grain Exchange spring
wheat futures bounced from a 10-year low. Plentiful
harvests have pressured wheat prices globally as suppliers vie
for export business in a crowded market.
    Paris wheat futures have slipped to their lowest
levels in over a year.
    "The EU is looking forward to significantly higher exports
in 2019/20 than in the previous year," Commerzbank analysts
wrote. "At the same time, there is considerable competition from
the Black Sea region again."
    Soybean futures drew support from USDA's confirmation that
private exporters sold 451,766 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to
    Soybeans also firmed as the drop in the dollar and gains
across commodity and equity markets lent support.
    Soybean investors continued to seek fresh indications on
U.S.-Chinese discussions to resolve a trade dispute that has
stalled U.S. soybean exports. 
    CBOT settlement prices: 
                                  Net     Pct  Volume
                         Last  change  change        
 CBOT wheat     WZ9    460.75    7.25     1.6   63209
 CBOT corn      CZ9    358.50   -2.50    -0.7  185255
 CBOT soybeans  SX9    875.50    7.00     0.8   93836
 CBOT soymeal   SMZ9   298.50    4.40     1.5   39101
 CBOT soyoil    BOZ9    28.99   -0.10    -0.3   55888
    NOTE: CBOT December wheat and corn and November soybeans
shown in cents per bushel, December soymeal in dollars per short
ton and December soyoil in cents per lb.

 (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago
Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral
in Singapore
Editing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis)
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