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US MIDDAY: corn falls

US corn futures declined the fourth straight session on Friday, with the most active contract notching a new low, after China cancelled more shipments of US supplies because they contained an unapproved strain of genetically modified grain, analysts and traders said.

Soyabean futures also turned lower after earlier trading in positive territory at the Chicago Board of Trade following the release of Informa Economics crop estimates that lifted US yields for both corn and soyabeans. "Corn is basically dead in the water - there's not a lot to support corn," said Karl Setzer, an analyst at MaxYield Co-operative in West Bend, Iowa.

China, the No 3 importer of US corn after Japan and Mexico, has cancelled numerous cargoes of US grain since mid-November after they were found to contain Syngenta AG's MIR 162 corn, a GMO variety not approved for import by China. The US Agriculture Department in its weekly export sales released early on Friday showed net a cancellation of 116,000 tonnes of corn to China. Informa Economics, in a forecast released at midday, lifted its estimate for last year's US corn yield even as the closely watched analytics firm reduced its corn production estimate.

CBOT March corn was down 2-1/2 cents at $4.18 per bushel after earlier hitting a contract low of $4.17. Most-active March soyabeans were down 2-1/2 cents at $12.67-1/2 as of 11:18 am CST (1718 GMT). Soyabeans rallied earlier Friday following better-than-expected export sales results.

"I don't know if the low total for corn is that much of a surprise considering the holiday timing. It was more of a surprise that we had as good as bean sales as we did," said Terry Linn, an analyst with the Linn Group. Some traders were evening positions ahead of next week's monthly USDA report, when the government will release final production estimates of the 2013/14 US corn and soyabean crops. CBOT March wheat futures were up 3-1/4 cents at $6.00-1/4 per bushel, rebounding after hitting the lowest level since May 2012 in the previous session. Wheat was supported by bitterly cold US temperatures that could damage the dormant crop.

Copyright Reuters, 2014


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