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Soybeans drop for second session on U.S.-China tension, wheat falls

Chicago soybean futures slid for a second session on Monday as rising U.S.-China tensions are likely to derail North American bean exports to the world’s biggest importer of the oilseed.

Wheat lost ground after climbing in the last session on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar.

“China booked a lot of beans from the United Sates, so I don’t think those shipments are under threat of getting rejected,” said one Singapore-based trader at an international trading company that has oilseed processing facilities in China.

“But worsening relations between the two countries certainly put the future deals in question.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) lost 0.2% to $8.97-1/2 a bushel by 0323 GMT. Wheat fell 0.7% to $5.35-3/4 a bushel and corn slid 0.3% to $3.34 a bushel.

Weekly U.S. corn and soybean export sales reached multi-year highs in mid-July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Thursday, fuelled by large purchases by China.

The USDA report also showed soybean sales to China rose to 1.696 million tonnes, the most since March 2019.

Staff of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu made final efforts to clear the premises on Sunday as security remained tight outside, ahead of a Monday closure ordered by Beijing as China-U.S. relations continue to worsen.

China’s soybean imports in June from top supplier Brazil soared to a record high, according to customs data released on Sunday, driven by growing demand for soybeans as China’s pig herd recovers after deadly outbreaks of African swine fever.

The world’s top soybean buyer brought in 10.51 million tonnes of oilseed from the South American country in June, up 91% from 5.5 million tonnes in the previous year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. The June figures were also up 18.6% from May imports from Brazil at 8.86 million tonnes.

Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to July 21, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net short position in CBOT wheat, while raising their net long position in soybeans.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V and Vinay Dwivedi)

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