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Corn prices drop on U.S. crop condition, wheat eases after strong gains

Reuters, 08.06.22


Chicago corn futures slid on Tuesday, with better-than-expected condition of the U.S. crop easing concerns over world supplies and adding pressure on prices.

Wheat prices dipped, but the market was holding on to much of last session’s gains on support from concerns about lengthy disruptions to shipments from the Black Sea region as the Russia-Ukraine war intensified.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) lost 0.6% to $7.38 a bushel, as of 0336 GMT, after rising 2% in the previous session.

Wheat slid 0.4% to $10.88-3/4 a bushel, after climbing more than 5% on Monday, while soybeans gained 0.2% at $17.03 a bushel, have finished little changed in the previous session.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday rated 73% of the U.S. corn crop as good to excellent in its first condition ratings for the 2022 crop, above the average estimate of 68% in a Reuters analyst poll.

In a weekly crop progress report, the USDA said U.S. farmers had planted 94% of their intended corn acres by Sunday, up from 86% a week earlier and ahead of the five-year average of 92%, despite a slow start following a cold, wet spring in much of the Midwest.

For soybeans, the agency said U.S. farmers had planted 78% of their intended acreage, below the average estimate in the Reuters poll of 80%. The USDA’s figure was up from 66% a week ago, but just behind the five-year average of 79%. The government expects to release soybean condition ratings starting with next week’s report.

Disruptions to Black Sea supplies continue to underpin wheat prices. Street fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops raged in the battle for the industrial city of Sievierodonetsk as Moscow’s forces pushed to conquer Ukraine’s eastern Donbas, seeking a decisive win more than 100 days into the invasion.

Ukraine is not ready to agree to a plan to export its grain by rail across Belarus for shipment via the Baltic Sea to bypass Russia’s blockade of its Black Sea ports, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday.

Zelenskiy told a news conference in the capital Kyiv that there could be as much as 75 million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine this autumn.

Russian wheat export prices rose last week amid active supplies from the country’s Black Sea ports, analysts said on Monday.

Prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content and for supply from Black Sea ports in June rose $15 to $425 free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said.

In other news, Brazil is testing a variety of drought resistant, genetically modified wheat in a bid to become more self-sufficient in the staple crop as global supplies tighten.

The USDA said that weekly soybean export inspections totalled 350,416 tonnes, down 13.2% from a week earlier and below trade forecasts.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat and corn futures contracts on Monday and net sellers of soybean, soymeal and soyoil contracts, traders said.



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