Soybeans, corn slide on forecasts for much-needed Argentine rains


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CHICAGO — U.S. soybean futures fell on Thursday, retreating from seven-month highs set a day earlier as forecasts for beneficial rains in drought-hit Argentina sparked a round of selling, analysts said.

Corn futures also declined on the outlook for Argentine weather along with wheat futures.

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Chicago Board of Trade March soybeans settled down 9-3/4 cents at $15.14-3/4 per bushel. CBOT March corn ended down 4 cents at $6.77-1/4 a bushel and March wheat fell 8 cents to finish at $7.34-1/2 a bushel.

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“The forecasts are in pretty good agreement that we are to have some pretty good rains in Argentina that may help to stabilize the declining production potential in that country,” said Terry Linn, analyst with Linn and Associates in Chicago.

In addition, export prospects for U.S. soybeans are declining as markets shut down in top global soy buyer China next week for the Lunar New Year holiday, and as Brazil begins harvesting a likely record-large soy crop.

“The U.S. (soybean export) program is just about over, which seasonally, is normal. But we have seen the bulk of our export sales already for the season,” Linn said.

Corn and soybean futures faced additional pressure from farmer selling as U.S. producers took advantage of multi-month highs set in both markets this week.

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Renewed recession fears following U.S. consumer data also curbed grain markets, though a weaker dollar created some export optimism.

“U.S. corn values have quietly gotten more competitive to the world. We didn’t get the Egyptian tender today, but we were competitive,” Linn said, noting that Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities bought 50,000 tonnes of Romanian corn in an international tender.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 195,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico.

Traders await the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export sales report due on Friday, a day later than normal due to Monday’s federal holiday.

After the CBOT close, a Farm Futures survey of U.S. planting intentions indicated that producers plan to expand all-wheat seedings for 2023 harvest by nearly 7% compared to a year ago, with smaller increases expected for corn and soybean acreage. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Matthew Lewis and Diane Craft)


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