Chai Time

Wheat drops for fourth day as improved global weather weighs

SINGAPORE: Chicago wheat futures slid for a fourth consecutive session on Monday, with the market trading close to a three-month low hit in the last session as improved weather across the Northern Hemisphere boosted expectations of bumper supplies.

Soybeans and corn lost ground after last session’s rally.

“It is not just in US Plains, we are seeing favourable rains in parts of Russia and Ukraine,” said one Singapore-based trader. “For now, Australia has ample supplies to meet demand.”

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) lost 0.2% at $6.25-3/4 a bushel by 0353 GMT, after closing down 0.6% on Friday when prices hit a Dec. 30 low.

Soybeans were down 0.1% to $14.15 a bushel, after firming 1.7% on Friday and corn gave up 0.3% to $5.56 a bushel, after gaining 2.1% in the previous session.

The wheat market is coming under pressure from favourable weather in the United States and the Black Sea region.

Ukrainian wheat export prices have lost as much as $7 a tonne over the past week on this year’s harvest outlook and a drop in Russian wheat prices, the APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Sunday.

Agricultural markets eye weather in South America and any sign of progress after high-level US-China talks.

The US Department of Agriculture reported 800,000 tonnes in additional US corn sales to China on Friday, taking total sales confirmed last week to nearly 3.9 million tonnes.

China’s soybean imports from Brazil fell sharply in the first two months of 2021, compared to the year-ago period, customs data showed on Saturday, as rain delayed some shipments from the top exporter.

China, by far the world’s top buyer of soybeans, brought in 1.03 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in Jan-Feb, down nearly 80% from 5.14 million tonnes a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Custom showed.

Workers at the Argentine grains port hub of Rosario ended an hours-long strike on Friday, after the government ordered labor unions to negotiate a settlement with management.

Large speculators raised their net long position in CBOT corn futures in the week to March 16, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and cut their net long position in soybeans.

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