WINNIPEG, (Manitoba): Chicago wheat extended losses on Friday to a fresh three-month low as modest weekly US exports kept traders’ focus on competition from cheaper Black Sea supplies.
Corn also fell, while soybeans rebounded, consolidating after a selloff in the previous session over disappointing US biofuels levels. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) lost 2.8% at $7.61 a bushel, falling to the lowest price for a most-active contract since Aug. 19.
A record Russian harvest and a grain export channel from Ukraine have increased export competition for US supplies. “We’re worried about Ukraine and Russia. They keep flooding the world market with wheat and their prices are far cheaper than ours,” said Jack Scoville, vice-president of Price Futures Group.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Thursday export sales of US wheat totalled 162,500 tonnes in the week ended Nov. 24, well below analysts’ forecasts ranging from 300,000 tonnes to 725,000 tonnes. Wheat prices fell even as Canada’s all-wheat crop turned out smaller than expected due to dry conditions, Statistics Canada reported.
French crops, however, are in good shape entering the winter with an estimated 98% of soft wheat in good or excellent condition in the week to Nov. 28. Corn dropped 2.2% to $6.46-1/4 a bushel and also faces concerns about faltering export demand, Scoville said. Current sales to what were US corn’s No. 2 through No. 5 destinations last year are down 71% on the year.
CBOT soybeans settled up 0.6% at $14.38-1/2 a bushel, after finding technical support just above Thursday’s low of $14.25-1/4. Soybeans and wider commodity markets had been underpinned in recent sessions by signs China was softening COVID-19 rules after rare public protests in the world’s second-largest economy.