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Soybeans head for another weekly drop US-China tensions weigh

Soybeans head for another weekly drop US-China tensions weigh

PARIS/SINGAPORE: Chicago soybean futures steadied on Friday but still on course for a fourth straight weekly loss due to a deepening trade dispute between the United States and top soybean importer China.

Corn futures were also set for a fourth weekly decline in a row, similarly sapped by trade risks and favourable growing conditions in the US Midwest corn and soybean belt.

Wheat prices ticked lower but were underpinned by the prospect of weather-reduced production in Russia and China.

The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract was 0.7 higher at $8.87 a bushel by 1157 GMT.

It was down 2 percent over the week, in what would be a fourth weekly fall, after dropping to a near 10-year low on Tuesday.

“The soybean market might have found a bottom after heavy losses but there are some serious concerns over what is going to happen to US soybean supplies to China,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

“And it looks like the US is going produce a record or near record crop.”

World share prices headed for their worst week in three months, in a sign of broad investor concern about fallout from escalating tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington, Beijing and other trading partners.

The hesitant trend on Friday also reflected a shift in attention towards next week’s US acreage and stocks estimates from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), data that is closely followed by grain investors.

“We have seen a whirlwind of activity in the past week,” said Michael Magdovitz, commodities analyst with Rabobank. “You’re starting to see some consolidation and people looking for direction prior to the acreage and stocks reports and then July weather.”

US corn and soybean crops have benefited from generally favourable growing conditions so far, adding to pressure on prices, but July is considered a crucial month for determining yields, especially for corn.

CBOT corn was down 0.2 percent, staying on course for a fourth consecutive weekly decline. Wheat was down 1.2 percent at $5.00-3/4 a bushel but was still up marginally over the week.

Wheat production in Russia is expected to drop to 67.4 million tonnes this year, down 21.5 percent from 2017’s record harvest, after adverse weather affected both winter and spring crops, consultancy Agritel said on Thursday.

China’s wheat output could drop as much as 20 percent this crop year after bad weather hit fields in major growing areas, likely boosting imports by the world’s top producer and consumer of the grain, traders and an analyst said.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

Source: Brecorder

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