Soybeans fall on U.S. harvest progress; wheat loses more ground


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SINGAPORE — Chicago soybean futures slid for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday, while corn ticked lower, with both markets under pressure from a rapidly progressing U.S. harvest.

Wheat lost more ground as Russia, the world’s biggest exporter, said it was considering abolishing limits on grain exports, raising supply expectations.

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“U.S. harvest and crop report is bearish for soybeans,” said one Singapore-based trader. “The market is also looking at Chinese buying for a price direction.”

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The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.4% at $13.70-1/2 a bushel, as of 0211 GMT, and corn lost 0.1% to 6.92-1/2 a bushel.

Wheat gave up 0.7% to $8.94-3/4 a bushel.

The U.S. corn harvest was 31% complete, as of Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a weekly progress report, up from 20% a week ago, but behind the average estimate in a Reuters analyst poll of 34%.

The soybean harvest was 44% complete, as compared with 22% a week ago and above average analysts’ estimate of 41%.

For the first time this fall, harvest progress for soybeans surpassed its five-year average, which was 38% for this week. Corn progress topped its five-year average for the first time in a month as farmers took advantage of clear skies. States across the Midwest and Plains had six to seven days in the last week considered “suitable for fieldwork,” the USDA said.

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Russia is considering abolishing its grain export quota, which it usually sets up in the second half of the July-June marketing season, the Interfax news agency reported, citing Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister.

Russia, which supplies its wheat to Africa and the Middle East, usually sets up grain export quotas for the period from mid-February and until the end of June to secure enough supply for the domestic needs.

The country is on track to harvest a record grain crop of 150 million tonnes, including 100 million tonnes of wheat, in 2022.

Widespread rains in Australia’s eastern grain-producing states are likely to hit the quality of the wheat crop, which is scheduled to be harvested at the end of the year, traders and analysts said.

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France’s farm ministry on Tuesday trimmed its forecast for the country’s 2022 grain maize production, excluding crop grown for seeds, to 11.15 million tonnes from 11.33 million projected last month.

The drought-affected harvest was now seen 26.6% lower than last year’s bumper crop and 18.4% below the average of the past five years, the ministry said in a report.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean futures on Tuesday, traders said. They were net sellers of corn, wheat and soyoil futures. They were net even in soymeal futures, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)



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