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GRAINS-Wheat falls to multi-month lows as global prices sag; soy firm

(Recasts; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline; dateline previously PARIS) By Julie Ingwersen CHICAGO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell to multi-month lows on Friday, despite broad strength in commodity and equity markets as grain traders eyed falling prices in the global cash wheat market and bearish technical signals. Soybeans climbed on optimism about U.S. trade negotiations with China, the world's top soy importer, while corn futures were little changed. As of 12:53 p.m. CDT (1853 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade March wheat was down 3-3/4 cents at $5.03-1/2 per bushel, after falling to $4.99-1/4, the contract's lowest level in more than a year and the lowest for a most-active contract since Oct. 31. Technical selling accelerated as March wheat fell below its Jan. 2 low of $5.01-1/4 and as K.C. hard red winter wheat futures hit contract lows. CBOT March soybeans were up 4-1/4 cents at $9.07-3/4 a bushel and March corn was down 1/4 cent at $3.74-1/2 a bushel. Wheat fell on reminders of declining prices on the global export market. Algeria's state grains agency this week bought 600,000 tonnes of milling wheat at a tender at around $247 to$247.50 per tonne, cost and freight included, European traders said. That was about $15 per tonne cheaper than an Algerian purchase in early January. "World wheat cash values have come off their highs. French offers had to come down to get the Algerian business," said Terry Linn, analyst with Linn & Associates. "Domestically, all we had was the export sales report, highlighting very tepid demand," Linn said, noting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Thursday report pegging U.S. old-crop wheat sales in the week to Jan. 3 at 131,200 tonnes, below trade expectations. Euronext wheat futures led the way down, with the benchmark May contract hitting its lowest level since July on technical selling ahead of March options expiration. CBOT soybeans turned up after the March contract briefly dipped to a 3-1/2-week low. The soy market drew support as both the United States and China reported progress in five days of trade negotiations in Beijing this week. The trade talks will resume next week in Washington with time running short to ease the bruising trade war between the two countries, but U.S. President Donald Trump repeated that he may extend a March 1 deadline for a deal and keep tariffs on Chinese goods from rising and said the talks "are going extremely well." The upbeat assessment boosted Wall Street and added light support for grains and oilseeds. "The overall negotiations picture is a little more positive," Phin Ziebell, agribusiness analyst at National Australia Bank, said of the trade talks. Soybeans also drew support from a larger-than-expected January crush figure. The National Oilseed Processors Association said its member crushed 171.6 million bushels of soybeans last month, down slightly from December's 171.8 million but above the average analyst estimate of 169.6 million. CBOT prices as of 12:44 p.m. CST (1844 GMT): Net Pct Volume Last change change CBOT wheat WH9 503.50 -3.50 -0.7 69050 CBOT corn CH9 374.75 0.00 0.0 178153 CBOT soybeans SH9 908.00 4.50 0.5 84180 CBOT soymeal SMH9 306.60 1.10 0.4 42617 CBOT soyoil BOH9 30.02 0.13 0.4 25740 NOTE: CBOT March wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per bushel, March soymeal in dollars per short ton and March soyoil in cents per lb. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral, Editing by Leslie Adler)

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