Soybeans fall as China shuns US oilseed for 1st time since row

Imaduddin December 24, 2018

PARIS/SINGAPORE: Chicago soybeans eased for a fourth consecutive session to hit a near one-month low on Monday after customs data showed China had made no purchase of US soybeans last month, but pre-Christmas trading was very thin.

Wheat recouped some of last session’s deep losses on easing concerns over export curbs by top supplier Russia, while corn edged lower after gaining nearly 1 percent in the previous session.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) most-active wheat contract rose 0.2 percent to $5.15-1/4 a bushel by 1138 GMT after hitting at its weakest since Dec. 6 at $5.11-3/4 a bushel.

Soybeans lost 0.4 percent to $8.81 a bushel and corn was down 0.7 percent at $3.75-3/4 a bushel.

Russia’s agriculture ministry lifted its forecast for 2018-19 wheat exports by 2 million tonnes to 37 million tonnes, a move interpreted by traders as another sign that the risk of export restrictions is easing.

Soybean prices are being pressured by news that China’s soybean imports from the United States plunged to zero in November, marking the first time China shunned US soybean since the trade war between the world’s two largest economies started.

Instead, China has leaned on imports from Brazil, the world’s top exporter, to replace the US cargoes, customs data showed on Monday.

Traders had been expecting news that China would book additional US oilseeds in coming days after buying more than 3 million tonnes over the past two weeks.

CBOT will be open for a half-day on Monday and will be closed all day on Tuesday for Christmas with trade resuming Wednesday morning.

Activity was also light in Europe. The session was due to close at 1300 GMT and resume only on Thursday morning.

Benchmark March milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext was up 0.1 percent at 204.75 euros a tonne.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

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