Chicago Board of Trade corn futures plunged about 3% on Thursday, joining a broad sell-off in the agricultural sector tied to doubts about whether China will make the purchases from the United States promised in a trade deal between the two countries.
CBOT March corn settled down 12 cents at $3.75-1/2 per bushel after dipping to $3.75-1/4, the contract’s lowest since December 12. Favorable crop weather in South America added pressure, bolstering expectations for large harvests in Brazil and Argentina.
Weak margins for US producers of corn-based ethanol fuel added to bearish sentiment. The US Department of Agriculture reported export sales of US corn in the week ended Jan. 9 at 991,700 tonnes (old- and new-crop years combined), topping a range of trade expectations.
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