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Markets

US grains edge up amid lack of fresh direction

KUALA LUMPUR/PARIS: US soybeans, wheat and corn futures held steady on Friday, though hovering around one-month lows

December 28, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR/PARIS: US soybeans, wheat and corn futures held steady on Friday, though hovering around one-month lows amid a lack of market-moving news and ongoing uncertainty about future trade relations between China and the United States.

The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly export sales report, which had been scheduled for release on Friday, has been postponed indefinitely due to a partial US government shutdown.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.45 percent to $8.86-1/2 a bushel by 1105 GMT.

Corn gained 0.5 percent to $3.76-1/4 a bushel while wheat was up 0.3 percent at $5.12 a bushel.

"Grain markets are looking for conflict-resolution and more certainty with only two trading days left in the year. Ongoing trade wars and a government shutdown lead the uncertainty," brokerage Allendale said in a note.

French consultancy Agritel said the date for a resumption of publications was not known and the next USDA report, normally expected for Jan. 11, could be postponed if the US Congress failed to reach an agreement on the budget.

Market analysts and traders had estimated that US export sales for the week ended Dec. 20 were 1.05 million to 1.6 million tonnes for corn, 1.8 million to 2.8 million tonnes for soybeans, and 200,000 to 600,000 tonnes for wheat.

Meanwhile, Brazilian farmers are bracing for losses as below-normal rainfall in the main soybean producing areas is expected during the first few days of 2019.

CBOT markets will be open on Monday but will be shut on Tuesday for New Year.

Copyright Reuters, 2018