GRAINS-Corn hits near two-week low as U.S. Midwest rains ease yield concerns
* USDA lowered U.S. corn production forecast on Friday
* Soybeans fall to lowest levels since July 1
* Wheat eases from April 24 high
U.S. corn futures fell as much as 2.5% on Monday to hit a near two-week low, as heavy rains across the key growing Midwest region eased fears that yields could be stunted.
Soybeans fell more than 0.5% to hit their lowest level since July 1, while wheat fell 1.5% as the weakness in corn weighed on prices.
The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 1.8% at $3.38-1/2 a bushel by 0330 GMT, near the session low of $3.34-3/4 a bushel – the lowest since June 30. Corn fell 3.4% in the previous session.
“Rain relief suddenly appeared,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Traders have been paying close attention to weather forecasts because the U.S. corn crop is in a key stage for development.
The slump in prices came despite the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered its forecast for the domestic 2020/21 corn harvest on Friday.
The USDA pegged the domestic 2020/21 corn harvest at 15.000 billion bushels, below the average analyst estimate of 15.036 billion bushels and down from the government’s June estimate of 15.995 billion.
The most active soybean futures were down 0.7% at $8.84-1/2 a bushel, near the session low of $8.81 a bushel – the lowest since July 1. Soybeans fell 1.2% on Friday.
Traders also noted concerns about the state of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship.
Tensions have intensified over U.S. criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The most active wheat futures were down 1.5% at $5.25-3/4 a bushel, after closing up 1.7% on Friday when prices hit a April 24 high of $5.39 a bushel.
The USDA estimated U.S. wheat production at 1.824 billion bushels, below analysts’ estimates for 1.848 billion.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich)