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Soybeans drop for second day; U.S.-China trade deal eyed

Chicago soybean futures ticked lower on Tuesday although losses were limited by expectations
that a Washington-Beijing Phase 1 trade deal will boost demand for U.S. supplies.
    
Corn eased after gaining for the last two sessions, while wheat fell for a second day.
    
"Strong buying by China and U.S.-China trade deal are likely to support soybeans," said Ole Houe, director of advisory
services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.
    
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) fell 0.2% to $9.40 a bushel by 0421 GMT,
heading for a second consecutive session of drop. Corn gave up 0.3% to $3.88-1/2 a bushel and wheat slid 0.2% to
$5.61-1/4 a bushel.
    
China's soybean imports in December surged 67% from a year earlier to a 19-month-high, customs data showed, as a flurry of
U.S. and Brazilian cargoes booked earlier cleared customs.

China, the world's top market for soybeans, brought in 9.54 million tonnes of the oilseed, up from 5.72 million tonnes a
year earlier, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
    
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday reiterated Washington's position that China has committed to increase
purchases of U.S. agricultural products to $40 billion-$50 billion annually. But a lack of detail on the accord has made
some traders cautious.
    
The agreement, first announced a month ago, helped CBOT soybeans rally at the start of January as it raised hopes that
China, the world's biggest soybean importer, would revive imports of U.S. supplies.
    
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) floated a tender to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from
global suppliers for shipment from March 1-10. Tender results were expected on Tuesday. 
    
The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week raised its U.S. 2019 corn and soybean yield estimates, which surprised some
traders following unfavourable crop weather last year and a challenging harvest.
    
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and soymeal futures contracts on Monday and net sellers of soybeans, soyoil
and wheat, traders said.
    
CBOT March soybean may test a support at $9.36-1/2 per bushel, with a good chance of breaking below this level and
falling towards $9.31, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.
   
 Grains prices at  0421 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  561.25  -1.00   -0.18%   -0.58%       544.17  64
 CBOT corn   388.50  -1.00   -0.26%   +0.71%       384.22  57
 CBOT soy    940.00  -2.25   -0.24%   -0.63%       928.13  48
 CBOT rice   13.19   -$0.04  -0.26%   -1.05%       $12.97  55
 WTI crude   58.12   $0.04   +0.07%   -1.56%       $60.02  
 Currencies                                                
 Euro/dlr    $1.114  $0.000  +0.03%   +0.14%               
 USD/AUD     0.6903  0.000   +0.00%   +0.03%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V and Subhranshu Sahu)

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