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Grain futures - Soybeans fall to 8-day low on demand concerns

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Shutterstock photo - U.S. grain futures were mostly lower during early U.S. morning trade on Thursday, with soybean prices trading close to a two-week low on the back of concerns over U.S. export prospects.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans futures for May delivery traded at USD14.3988 a bushel, down 0.45% on the day.

The May contract fell by as much as 0.7% earlier in the day to hit a session low of USD14.3638 a bushel, the weakest level since March 4.

Soy prices came under pressure amid the absence of a U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement of fresh export sales of U.S. supplies to China, the world's largest consumer of the oilseed.

The USDA was expected to announce export sale figures for the week ending March 7 later in the session.

Expectations for a bumper crop in Brazil also weighed on prices as farmers in the South American country started to accelerate harvesting of the nation's soy crops.

The USDA said last week Brazil will harvest a record 83.5 million tonnes of soybeans this spring, on pace to pass the U.S. as the top producer for the first time.

Favorable crop prospects in Brazil could result in lower demand for U.S. supplies.

Meanwhile, corn futures for May delivery traded at USD7.1038 a bushel, down 0.1% on the day. The May contract traded in a tight range between USD7.0838 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD7.1312 a bushel.

The May contract rose to a five-week high of USD7.1762 a bushel on Wednesday.

Corn futures have been on an upward trend in recent sessions after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that U.S. stockpiles before the next harvest will total 632 million bushels on August 31, the lowest level in 17 years.

The USDA also revised up its forecast for the amount of U.S. corn that will be used for animal feed and "residual" purposes by 2.2% to 4.55 billion bushels.

Elsewhere, wheat for May delivery traded at USD7.1212 a bushel, up 0.3% on the day. The May contract rose by as much as 0.35% earlier to hit a session high of USD7.1275 a bushel, the strongest level since March 4.

Wheat prices continued to move higher as traders closed out bets prices would fall lower after slumping to an eight-month low of USD6.8125 a bushel on March 6.

Wheat traders continued to monitor weather and crop conditions in the U.S. Great Plains-region, where prolonged dryness threatens dormant winter wheat crops.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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