GRAINS-Corn drops over 1% on U.S. weather outlook, soybeans at 2-month low

PUBLISHED: Thu, 17 Jun 2021 03:25:11 GMT

* Forecasts of cool, wet weather add pressure on corn, soybeans

* U.S. plan to provide relief to refiners on biofuel mandates weighs (Adds quote in paragraph 3, outlook for Black Sea wheat exports, fund positioning)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, June 17 (Reuters) – Chicago corn futures slid more than 1% on Thursday and soybeans dropped to a two-month low, as forecasts of improved weather in parts of the United States weighed on prices.

Wheat edged higher for a second consecutive session.

“Weather forecasters continue to look for rain and cooler temperatures this weekend, while dry and hot weather prevails in the north west of the U.S. Midwest until then,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“That weather pattern is the market’s fixation for now.”

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 1.2% to $6.65 a bushel, having closed up 0.8% in the previous session.

Soybeans were down 0.3% to $13.43-3/4 a bushel by 0259 GMT, near the session low of $14.35-3/4 a bushel – the weakest since April 20. Wheat futures rose 0.2% to $6.63-3/4 a bushel.

Forecasts for improving weather in the U.S. Midwest crop belt weighed on corn and soybean futures, despite a drop in condition ratings for both crops.

Soybeans have been under pressure recently following news the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering ways to provide relief to U.S. oil refiners from mandates requiring the blending of biofuels including soy-based biodiesel.

A stronger dollar, which makes the greenback-priced commodities expensive for buyers holding other currencies, also weighed on prices.

The dollar rose to its highest level in almost two months versus major peers after the Federal Reserve brought forward its projections for the first post-pandemic interest rate hikes into 2023, citing an improved health situation and dropping a long-standing reference that the crisis was weighing on the economy.

Wheat exports from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will rise in 2021/22, a Reuters poll showed, driven by high crops and stockpiles as well as increased global demand.

The group, which exports its wheat mainly via the Black Sea to customers in Africa and the Middle East, faces tougher competition as prospects for this year’s crop are also good in the European Union.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soyoil, soybean and corn futures contracts on Wednesday and net buyers of soymeal and wheat futures, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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