GRAINS-Soybeans extend fall off two-week highs; corn, wheat also lower

Credit: REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

PARIS, March 22 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybeans futures fell on Friday after surging to a two-month high in the previous session as concerns around inclement weather in Argentina triggered speculative buying and short-covering.

Corn and wheat futures were also lower.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Sv1 was down 0.9% at $12.01 a bushel as of 1230 GMT, after rising as high as $12.26 a bushel on Thursday. This accounted for a 7% rise in three weeks.

Traders said prices were pressured by profit-taking and farmer selling after the rise.

Corn Cv1 lost 0.3% to $4.39-1/2 a bushel, and wheat Wv1 shed 0.3% to $5.45 a bushel.

News of damaging rain and hail over key grain-producing regions in Argentina helped buoy soybean futures late on Wednesday. But some forecasts called for drier weather over the next week.

Argentina's Buenos Aires Grains Exchange lowered its estimate of the country's corn crop to 54 million metric tons from 56.5 million previously while leaving its soybean crop estimate unchanged at 52.5 million metric tons.

Traders continue to adjust their positions ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's March 28 Prospective Plantings and quarterly stocks reports, which have a history of jolting markets.

The European Commission proposed on Friday imposing tariffs on grain imports from Russia and Belarus in an attempt to prevent Moscow and its ally from distorting EU markets and placate farmers who have protested for months over cheap imports.

However, traders stressed that Russian and Belarusian shipments to the bloc are low, certainly relative to those from Ukraine, and that the imposition of tariffs was largely symbolic.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Tasim Zahid)

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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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