April 27, 2020 / 5:49 PM / a month ago

GRAINS-Strong planting weighs on corn market, wheat hits one-month low

    * Chicago wheat hits lowest since March 19
    * Corn pressured by weaker oil
    * Soybeans dip despite China demand

 (New throughout, updates prices, changes byline, dateline -
previously PARIS/SINGAPORE)
    By Christopher Walljasper
    CHICAGO, April 27 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures slid
Monday on favorable U.S. planting weather coupled with
struggling crude oil prices that continue to pressure
demand for corn-based ethanol fuel, analysts said.
    Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures slipped to
a one-month low as expected rain across Europe eased concerns
about crop stress while competitive Saudi import tender prices
tempered coronavirus supply tension concerns. 
    Soybeans were choppy, turning lower at times as spillover
pressure from corn futures offset support from anticipation of
additional Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans. 
    Fieldwork was the focus in the U.S. Midwest, where farmers
are seeding the 2020 corn and soybean crops.
    "We're just gonna be planting like crazy all week,” said
Mike Rowan, president of Crossroads Cooperative in Sidney,
Nebraska.
    Analysts expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture to report
U.S. corn planting as 22% complete and soybean planting as 8%
complete in its weekly crop progress report due later Monday.

    Meanwhile, worries about demand destruction for corn hung
over the market. Archer Daniels Midland Co on Thursday
said ethanol production at two corn dry mill facilities would be
idled temporarily because of lower gasoline demand.
    China signaled last week that it may buy 20 million tons of
corn and 10 million tons of soybeans to fill strategic reserves,
though traders remain skeptical.
    “China could be a way to make up for the lost usage in the
ethanol sector. But for now, we’re still pricing in that loss,”
said Terry Roggensack, partner at the Hightower Report.
    Most-active CBOT July corn fell 9-1/4 cents to
$3.13-3/4 a bushel by 12:27 p.m. CDT (1727 GMT). 
    CBOT July wheat fell 7-1/2 cents to $5.23 a bushel.
July soybeans fell 1-3/4 cents to $8.37-3/4.  
    Weather forecasts pressured the wheat market, with rain
expected across Europe and the Black Sea region this week after
a prolonged dry spell.
    Recent global wheat purchases signal demand, but a strong
dollar is making U.S. grains less competitive.
    “Purchases on the world market are certainly not for the
U.S., with how cheap the currencies are,” said Roggensack.
    Traders said prices paid by Saudi Arabia in purchasing
655,000 tonnes of wheat announced Monday pointed to strong
competition for the forthcoming season.
    Russia confirmed that it would not halt exports at the end
of this season until all grain booked under a now-filled quota
had been shipped.
        
    CBOT prices as of 12:26 p.m. CDT (1726 GMT):    
                                   Net     Pct  Volume
                          Last  change  change        
 CBOT wheat      WN0    522.75  -7.750    -1.5   46903
 CBOT corn       CN0    313.75  -9.250    -2.9  130336
 CBOT soybeans   SN0    838.00  -1.500    -0.2   86650
 CBOT soymeal    SMN0   292.10  -0.500    -0.2   50973
 CBOT soyoil     BON0    25.35  -0.150    -0.6   70824
    NOTE: CBOT July wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per
bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per
pound.
    

 (Reporting by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; Additional
reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in
Singapore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
  
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