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Grains - Soybeans tumble to 5-week low on firm dollar, demand woes

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Investing.com - U.S. grain futures were down sharply during early U.S. morning hours on Monday, with soybean prices trading at the lowest level in five-weeks amid ongoing concerns over U.S. export prospects.

Grain prices came under further pressure from an overall weakness in other financial markets, as worries over a controversial bailout deal for Cyprus weighed on appetite for riskier assets.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.6% to trade at 82.89.

A stronger dollar reduces the appeal of U.S. crops to overseas buyers and makes commodities less attractive as an alternative investment.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans futures for May delivery traded at USD14.0938 a bushel, down 1.1% on the day.

The May contract fell by as much as 1.3% earlier in the day to hit a session low of USD14.0888 a bushel, the weakest level since February 13.

Soy prices were down for the fifth consecutive session amid growing concerns over diminishing demand for U.S. supplies.

The National Oilseed Processors Association said Friday that U.S. soy crushings fell to 136.3 million bushels in February, below trade forecasts for 142 million and down from the previous month's total of 158.2 million.

Prices have been on a downward trend in recent weeks as market players feared expectations for a bumper crop in Brazil and Argentina could result in lower demand for U.S. supplies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said earlier in the month that 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.

Brazil and Argentina are major soy exporters and compete with the U.S. for business on the global market. Large South American crop prospects could weigh on demand for U.S. supplies.

Meanwhile, wheat for May delivery traded at USD7.1388 a bushel, down 1.2% on the day. The May contract dropped by as much as 1.3% earlier in the day to hit a session low of USD7.1375 a bushel, the weakest level since March 14.

Wheat prices came under pressure as a round of profit taking kicked in after prices jumped to a three-week high of USD7.2537 a bushel on Friday.

Wheat prices have been well-supported in recent sessions as traders closed out bets prices would fall lower after slumping to an eight-month low of USD6.8125 a bushel on March 6.

Elsewhere, corn futures for May delivery traded at USD7.1088 a bushel, down 0.8% on the day. The May contract declined by as much as 0.9% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD7.1012 a bushel, the lowest level since March 14.

Corn's losses were limited amid lingering concerns over global demand outstripping tight supplies.

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

The May contract rose to a five-week high of USD7.1962 a bushel on Friday.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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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.


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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