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GRAINS-Corn falls to 3-1/2-year low on bleak prospects for ethanol

U.S. corn futures fell to their lowest in three-and-a-half years on Monday, as a slump in crude oil prices threatened to sap demand for grain-based ethanol fuel.

* The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.5% to $3.29-1/4 a bushel, near the session low of $3.27 a bushel – the lowest since September 2016. Corn closed down 0.8% in the previous session.

* The most active wheat futures were up 1.2% at $5.55-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 1.4% on Friday.

* The most active soybean futures were down 0.3% to $8.51-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.5% on Friday.

* Gasoline consumption plays a role in demand for ethanol as the United States requires the corn-based fuel to be blended into the nation’s fuel pool.

* Wheat had previously drawn support from tentative signs of increased demand but traders worry a stronger dollar will dent exports.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday reported private sales of 567,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to China, mostly for shipment after the fall harvest.

* The pound fell against the dollar and euro after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests after showing persistent symptoms of the coronavirus.

* Global benchmark oil prices traded as much as $3 a barrel lower as the market opened for Monday’s trading session, reflecting fears of oversupply after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed to Thursday a meeting about a potential pact to cut production.

* A rally in U.S. stocks fizzled, leaving major indexes with modest gains on Friday, as Wall Street was torn between hope that U.S. economic data signals better times ahead and fear Europe’s debt crisis will engulf world economies.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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