January 16, 2020 / 3:34 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybeans near 1-month low on doubts over China demand; wheat eases

    * Chicago soybean futures fall to lowest since Dec. 20
    * Doubts over Chinese demand add pressure on soybean prices
    * Wheat slips after 2-day rally, corn down for 3rd session

 (Adds details on wheat, quote in paragraphs 5-6)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures lost
more ground on Thursday, with the market dropping to its lowest
in almost a month, as doubts emerged about China's demand for
U.S. supplies as promised in a trade deal between the two
    Wheat slid after climbing for the last two sessions, while
corn fell for a third day.
    The United States and China on Wednesday signed the Phase 1
trade deal, meant to reduce tensions after nearly two years of a
tit-for-tat tariff war.
    However, China's pledge to buy U.S. farm goods based on
"market conditions" during the deal signing ceremony added to
doubts among farmers and commodity traders over Beijing's
lingering tariffs on U.S. exports.
    "China's market conditions might not be favourable for
soybeans, given the number pigs left after African swine fever,"
said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia
    "Soybean purchases are unlikely to be strong. There is not
much upside potential for prices."
    The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of
Trade was down 0.2% to $9.26-1/2 a bushel by 0306 GMT,
near the session low of $9.25 a bushel - the weakest since Dec.
20. Soybeans closed down 1.4% on Wednesday.
    Wheat was down 0.4% to $5.70-3/4 a bushel, having
closed up 0.8% on Wednesday, when prices hit their highest since
 August 2018 at $5.79.
    Corn futures lost 0.4% to $3.86 a bushel, having
closed down 0.4% in the previous session.
    The centrepiece of the trade deal is a pledge by China to
purchase at least an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. farm
products and other goods and services over two years, above a
baseline of $186 billion in purchases in 2017, the White House
    Millions of pigs have died or been culled in China as
African swine fever has spread across the country.
    The National Oilseed Processors Association reported U.S.
soyoil stocks ballooned to 1.757 billion pounds by the end of
December, up 21% from the previous month and topping trade
    The wheat market has been supported by tightening supplies
in the Black Sea region with Russia planning to restrict
    France's farming agency increased its forecast of soft wheat
shipments outside the European Union this season for a fourth
month in a row, but warned month-old transport strikes could
cost the country exports as grain supplies fail to reach ports.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, corn,
soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday and net buyers
of wheat, traders said.
 Grains prices at 0306 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  570.75  -2.50   -0.44%   +0.40%       547.19  71
 CBOT corn   386.00  -1.50   -0.39%   -0.77%       384.58  51
 CBOT soy    926.50  -2.25   -0.24%   -1.67%       931.41  43
 CBOT rice   13.40   $0.04   +0.30%   +0.34%       $13.03  77
 WTI crude   58.17   $0.36   +0.62%   -0.10%       $60.15  
 Euro/dlr    $1.115  $0.000  +0.03%   +0.22%               
 USD/AUD     0.6905  0.000   +0.04%   +0.07%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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