January 14, 2020 / 4:45 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybeans drop for second day; U.S.-China trade deal eyed

    * Soybeans ease, expectations of Chinese demand limit
    * China's Dec soybean imports surge as cargoes clear customs
    * Chicago corn futures dip after 2 days of gains, wheat

 (Adds details on China's imports, technicals, quote in
paragraph 3)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures ticked
lower on Tuesday although losses were limited by expectations
that a Washington-Beijing Phase 1 trade deal will boost demand
for U.S. supplies.
    Corn eased after gaining for the last two sessions, while
wheat fell for a second day.
    "Strong buying by China and U.S.-China trade deal are likely
to support soybeans," said Ole Houe, director of advisory
services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.
    The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of
Trade (CBOT) fell 0.2% to $9.40 a bushel by 0421 GMT,
heading for a second consecutive session of drop. Corn
gave up 0.3% to $3.88-1/2 a bushel and wheat slid 0.2% to
$5.61-1/4 a bushel.
    China's soybean imports in December surged 67% from a year
earlier to a 19-month-high, customs data showed, as a flurry of
U.S. and Brazilian cargoes booked earlier cleared customs.

    China, the world's top market for soybeans, brought in 9.54
million tonnes of the oilseed, up from 5.72 million tonnes a
year earlier, according to data from the General Administration
of Customs.
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday reiterated
Washington's position that China has committed to increase
purchases of U.S. agricultural products to $40 billion-$50
billion annually. But a lack of detail on the accord has made
some traders cautious.
    The agreement, first announced a month ago, helped CBOT
soybeans rally at the start of January as it raised hopes that
China, the world's biggest soybean importer, would revive
imports of U.S. supplies.
    Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC)
floated a tender to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from
global suppliers for shipment from March 1-10. Tender results
were expected on Tuesday. 
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week raised its U.S.
2019 corn and soybean yield estimates, which surprised some
traders following unfavourable crop weather last year and a
challenging harvest.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and soymeal
futures contracts on Monday and net sellers of soybeans, soyoil
and wheat, traders said.
    CBOT March soybean may test a support at $9.36-1/2 per
bushel, with a good chance of breaking below this level and
falling towards $9.31, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market
analyst for commodities and energy technicals.
 Grains prices at  0421 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  561.25  -1.00   -0.18%   -0.58%       544.17  64
 CBOT corn   388.50  -1.00   -0.26%   +0.71%       384.22  57
 CBOT soy    940.00  -2.25   -0.24%   -0.63%       928.13  48
 CBOT rice   13.19   -$0.04  -0.26%   -1.05%       $12.97  55
 WTI crude   58.12   $0.04   +0.07%   -1.56%       $60.02  
 Euro/dlr    $1.114  $0.000  +0.03%   +0.14%               
 USD/AUD     0.6903  0.000   +0.00%   +0.03%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V and
Subhranshu Sahu)
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