Chicago futures dip on Ukraine supply boost; USDA reports awaited


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Chicago grain futures dipped in Asian trading on Monday after France’s transport minister said he would sign an agreement with Romania to help increase Ukrainian grain exports to developing countries.

Losses, however, were capped ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and Crop Production reports, scheduled for release at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT).

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The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.8% at $6.79-1/4 a bushel, as of 0308 GMT.

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Wheat fell 1.4% to $8.57 a bushel, while soybeans lost 0.6% to $14.04-1/4 a bushel.

France’s transport minister, Clement Beaune, said on Sunday the deal to be signed on Monday with Romania, which has been one of the alternative routes used to export Ukrainian grain, would cover shipments by land, sea and river.

Concerns about continued grain shipments from Ukraine amid Russian criticism of a U.N.-brokered export corridor deal helped prop up corn and wheat prices last week.

Britain on Sunday dismissed as untrue Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that only a fraction of grain exported from Ukraine under an international deal was going to poor countries.

The upcoming USDA reports, however, could set a clearer direction for grain markets this week, with the agency expected to lower its U.S. harvest forecasts, particularly for corn.

“The USDA’s Sept. 12 WASDE is fast approaching, and the average trade expectations call for a -1.6% MOM draw in global corn stocks on a U.S. yield-led production cut,” J.P.Morgan analysts said in a note.

“A sharp increase in Russian wheat production and reduction in EU maize production is also likely,” they said.

The United States, meanwhile, on Friday said it was working with the United Nations to address Russia’s complaints that sanctions were hindering its food and fertilizer shipments. (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V)


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