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Corn inches higher but near 5-month low, soybeans drop

cornSYDNEY: US corn prices edged higher on Thursday but remained near a five-month low, weighed down by a forecast that 2013 acreage would be the largest in nearly 80 years, while soybeans fell to a three-week low on signs of waning Chinese demand.


Chicago Board of Trade March corn had climbed 0.07 percent to $7.04-1/4 a bushel by 0207 GMT in choppy trade. Corn slipped 2.1 percent in the previous session, hitting a more than five-month trough.


Widely watched private analytics firm Informa Economics raised its 2013 US corn acreage forecast to 99.026 million acres, which would be the most since 1936. The view came despite sluggish demand for corn from importers and ethanol producers.


"The Informa numbers were bearish (for prices), there is no doubt about that, but corn is bouncing back a little today," said Andrew Woodhouse, a grains analyst at Advance Trading Australasia.


Analysts also noted pressure from position-squaring ahead of year-end.


January soybeans fell 0.23 percent to $14.33-1/4 a bushel, the lowest since November 30. The oilseed slid 1.98 percent on Wednesday.


March wheat inched up 0.12 percent to $8.06-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.59 percent the day before.


Soybeans have dropped more than 4 percent since China, the world's largest buyer of beans, cancelled a contract to purchase 300,000 tonnes of US supplies.


The US Agriculture Department said that another 120,000 tonnes sold to unknown destinations -- which traders believe to be in China -- were also scrapped.


Wheat fell despite Egypt on Wednesday confirming it bought 180,000 tonnes of US soft red winter wheat as part of a tender announced on Tuesday afternoon.


Separately, the USDA said that private exporters reported the sale of 110,000 tonnes of US hard red winter wheat to Egypt.

Center>Copyright Reuters, 2012


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