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Export, weather worries sink corn, soybeans

12/26/2013 @ 10:08am

U.S. grain and soybean futures fell Thursday amid concerns about export sales to China and favorable global weather outlooks for crops.

Soybean futures dropped 0.5% as traders braced for the prospect that China, the biggest importer of the oilseeds, will cancel some orders for U.S. supplies and buy instead from rival South America, analysts said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will report weekly export sales on Friday, indicated in a report last week that orders for 576,000 metric tons of soybeans had been canceled by an unknown destination. Traders typically assume such sales are to China, and note that the country often shifts some orders to South America this time of year.

Soybeans also are weighed down by largely favorable weather outlooks for crops in South America, though Argentina is experiencing above-average temperatures and dryness this week. The weather is a concern in Argentina, but "I still think they are going to have a really good bean crop down there," said Joe Vaclavik, president of Chicago brokerage Standard Grain Inc.

CBOT January soybeans were down 7 1/4 cents, or 0.5%, at $13.26 1/2 a bushel. March soybeans, the most-actively traded contract, fell 7 3/4 cents, or 0.6%, to $13.15 a bushel.

Corn futures dropped 1%, pressured by a Reuters report Thursday that China had rejected shipments of U.S. dried distillers grains, a corn byproduct used in animal feed. The report, which cited unnamed traders, said China had turned away 2,000 metric tons of DDGs as it steps up scrutiny of shipments over an unapproved genetically modified corn strain. Beijing has rejected more than 500,000 tons of U.S. corn shipments this year due to the presence of the insect-resistant MIR 162 strain.

Corn for March delivery at the Chicago Board of Trade was down 5 1/4 cents, or 1.2%, at $4.29 1/4 a bushel.

Wheat futures hit a fresh 19-month low as they remained under pressure from rising global production and weaker U.S. export sales. CBOT March wheat was down 2 1/2 cents, or 0.4%, at $6.03 3/4 a bushel. The price earlier dropped to $6.03, the lowest since May 15, 2012.

No damaging cold weather is expected in the central U.S. for winter-wheat varieties that were planted in October and November, private forecaster DTN said in a report Thursday. However, DTN said, "this situation bears watching as strong, very cold, surface highs continue to form in Canada before moving over the central U.S. regions."


Write to David Kesmodel at david.kesmodel@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 26, 2013 10:52 ET (15:52 GMT)
DJ US Grains, Soybeans Fall Amid Export Worries, Good Weather->copyright

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