Content ID

335748

GRAINS-Soybeans end lower, halting win streak; corn, wheat also slide

(New throughout; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes dateline from previous PARIS/SINGAPORE)

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, Nov 3 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures closed lower on Thursday, pausing after a seven-session climb as lackluster U.S. export sales and macroeconomic worries weighed on prices, traders said.

Corn and wheat also declined, with a sharply higher dollar hanging over the grain complex.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans settled down 17 cents at $14.37 per bushel. CBOT December corn ended down 8-1/4 cents at $6.79-1/4 a bushel and December wheat finished down 5-1/2 cents at $8.40-1/2 a bushel.

Soybeans fell 1.2% as traders took profits a day after the January contract reached $14.57-3/4, its highest in nearly six weeks. Strong global vegetable oil markets and optimism about export demand from China underpinned the market.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture said U.S. soybean export sales in the week ended Oct. 27 totalled 830,200 tonnes, at the low end of a range of trade expectations. The figure underscored the impact of a strong dollar and low water on the Mississippi River that has hampered the movement of barges that feed Gulf export terminals.

"Export sales were really not great. This is the time of year when we should be seeing 1.5 million (tonnes of weekly sales)," said Ted Seifried, chief agriculture strategist for the Zaner Group.

Corn export sales at 372,200 tonnes were in line with expectations but similarly underwhelming, Seifried said.

Traders were also digesting rising private crop estimates. Commodity brokerage StoneX late Wednesday raised its estimate of the average U.S. corn yield to 174.5 bushels per acre (bpa), from 173.9 last month.

On Thursday, private analytics firm IHS Markit Agribusiness, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, raised its U.S. corn yield estimate to 172.9 bpa, from 171.2 a month ago. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release updated U.S. and world crop estimates on Nov. 9.

CBOT wheat fell on technical selling and a firmer dollar, but the benchmark December contract pared losses and traded higher at times given uncertainty about grain exports from the war-torn Black Sea region.

Ukraine has exported 10 million tonnes of grain and other food since a U.N.-brokered deal in July restarted shipments stalled by Russia's war, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres said, as he pushed Russia and Ukraine to extend the pact.

"The extension of the agreement initially established for four months will expire in three weeks and will probably be subject to new negotiations. Uncertainty remains on the markets and new surprises cannot be excluded," French consultancy Agritel said in a note. (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Rashmi Aich, Jan Harvey and Daniel Wallis)

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