June 8, 2020 / 3:33 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Chicago soybeans hover near 2-month top on strong demand; wheat eases

* China buys U.S. beans for Sept-Dec period

* Wheat futures down for 2nd session, corn rises for 3rd day (Recasts with change in market direction, adds quote in paragraphs 3-4; updates prices)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, June 8 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures edged lower on Monday, though the market traded near a two-month high touched in the previous session on support from strong demand for U.S. supplies, while wheat slid for a second day.

Corn gained for a third consecutive session as higher oil prices boosted hopes for ethanol demand.

“U.S. soybeans are cheaper than Brazilian beans for September to December shipment,” said a Singapore-based trader at an international trading company which owns oilseed processing facilities in China.

“China has turned to U.S. cargoes for shipment in the last quarter of 2020.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.1% at $8.66-1/2 a bushel, as of 0304 GMT, not far from Friday’s highest since April 1 at $8.74 a bushel.

Wheat lost 0.3% to $5.13-1/2 a bushel, while corn rose 0.1% to $3.31-1/2 a bushel.

U.S. exporters reported large sales of soybeans for a fourth straight day on Friday in deals widely thought to be bound for China, which has accelerated buying this week amid rising prices in top supplier Brazil.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday reported 588,000 tonnes of soybean sales.

Russia’s southern Stavropol region, one of country’s main grain-producing areas, may see its 2020 crop fall by 40% compared with last year due to cold weather and drought, the Interfax news agency said on Friday, citing a regional agriculture ministry.

Large speculators increased their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week ended June 2, 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 and increased their net short position in soybeans. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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