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Markets

Corn falls from 7-1/2 year highs after U.S. sales to China

  • Soybeans fell despite a slow Brazilian harvest that could impact exports, while wheat followed soy lower.
Published February 2, 2021

CHICAGO: U.S. corn futures climbed to 7-1/2 year highs on Monday before backsliding, supported by massive U.S. corn sales to China last week.

Soybeans fell despite a slow Brazilian harvest that could impact exports, while wheat followed soy lower.

Chicago Board of Trade most active corn fell 4-1/2 cents to $5.42-1/2 per bushel at 11:07 a.m. (1707 GMT), after touching $5.55-3/4, its highest since June 2013.

Soybeans slid 14-3/4 cents to $13.55-3/4 per bushel. Wheat dropped 15 cents to $6.48 per bushel.

The U.S. Agriculture Department confirmed private sales of 125,730 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico and another 110,000 tonnes to Japan on Monday morning, for delivery in the 2020/21 marketing year.

That was on top of corn sales last week to China totaling 3.74 million tonnes, one of the largest U.S. corn export sales weeks on record.

"The buying from China last week confirmed that prices are not too high," said Terry Roggensack, agriculture research specialist at Hightower Report. "It pencils out for them to buy a lot of corn from us."

Soybeans pulled back, despite continued supply pressures.

"Most of the fundamentals are good," said Joe Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain. "It's run-of-the-mill volatility."

Potential soybean harvest delays or even crop damage from unwelcome rain in Brazil have supported the U.S. soybean market because they could delay the influx of new supplies on to the world market.

"The Brazil soybean shipment schedule for February is huge," Roggensack said. "Anything goes wrong and we've got a problem for beans."

Wheat followed soybeans lower, though it was supported by the Russian government's consideration of an additional tax on the wheat it ships abroad, beginning June 1.

"We've got this man-made supply disruption in Russia," Vaclavik said. "That could steer some additional wheat business to the U.S., but it's also a deal that could be ended with a stroke of a pen."

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