Wheat, soybeans hold firm as coronavirus raises supply risks

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Corn was little changed as the market consolidated after recent losses linked to the slump in demand for corn-based ethanol fuel.
CBOT were up 0.7pc at $8.87-3/4 a bushel while corn inched down 0.2pc to $3.45-1/4 a bushel.

PARIS: Chicago futures rose for a second session on Monday after a proposal by the world’s top supplier Russia to limit grain added to concerns about supply arising from the coronavirus crisis.

Soybean futures also extended gains as the risk of logistical snags in South American soybean belts and reduced production in due to coronavirus restrictions also fuelled supply fears.

Corn was little changed as the market consolidated after recent losses linked to the slump in demand for corn-based ethanol fuel.

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Russia’s economy ministry said on Monday it supported an ministry proposal to limit grain exports to 7 million tonnes from April through June, making the plan more likely to be adopted.

While the proposal would have only limited immediate impact, as it is in line with market forecasts of Russian shipments, the move has raised that tougher steps could follow, traders said.

“Though it is still only a proposal at the moment, it is already generating uncertainty,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

The Russian export quota plan came after wheat had already rallied in the past two weeks, as panic buying of food staples by households reacting to the coronavirus epidemic fuelled milling demand and spurred speculative buying.

“The ‘textbook’ case is that demand for food will not change much but there is some switching from the pricier ‘luxury’ foods to cheaper ‘standard’ foods,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Oilseed markets were also facing potential supply disruption, which was offsetting the prospect of reduced demand for edible oil, as restaurants shutter in much of the world, and for biodiesel as fuel markets tumble.

Chinese soybean processors fear that the spread of the coronavirus in exporting countries could lead to further supply tensions as China resumes industrial activity after its coronavirus crisis.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of (CBOT) was up 1.3pc to $5.78-3/4 a bushel by 1139 GMT, as it held near a two-month high of $5.87 hit on Friday.

CBOT soybeans were up 0.7pc at $8.87-3/4 a bushel while corn inched down 0.2pc to $3.45-1/4 a bushel.

Corn, widely used to make ethanol in the United States, has been dented this month by the rout in crude oil, which on Monday sank to its lowest since 2002.

But Monday’s hesitant trend in corn reflected caution ahead of US Department of Agriculture planting and stocks reports on Tuesday.

Source: Brecorder

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