Corn eases for 2nd day; US harvest behind market expectations

    Corn plants are seen in a farm in Lujan, Argentina, Aug. 2, 2019.
    Corn plants are seen in a farm in Lujan, Argentina, Aug. 2, 2019.

    SINGAPORE- Chicago corn futures slid for a second session on Wednesday, although losses were checked as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) pegged the rate of harvest behind market expectations.

    Soybeans gained ground, rising for three out of four sessions, on expectations of Chinese purchases of US agriculture products.

    The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was down 0.5 percent at $3.91-1/4 a bushel by 0317 GMT, having closed down 1.1 percent in the previous session.

    Soybeans Sv1 added 0.1 percent to $9.34-3/4 a bushel and wheat lost 0.1 percent at $5.06-1/2 a bushel.

    In its weekly crop progress report, the USDA said 22 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, behind market expectations.

    The agency said 26 percent of soybean crop has been harvested, slightly ahead of market forecasts.

    US President Donald Trump said on Friday that China had agreed to purchase $40 billion to $50 billion worth of US agricultural goods in a first phase of an agreement to end the trade war.

    But China would make the purchases only if Trump rolls back levies put in place since the trade war began, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

    China has already bought 20 million tons of soybeans from the United States, along with other products, spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing.

    “The declines are likely to remain modest for US soybean prices,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “China’s potential splurge on US agricultural produce is waiting in the market’s mental wings.”

    The National Oilseed Processors Association said its members crushed 152.6 million bushels of soybeans in September, down 9 percent from August and below the lowest level in a range of trade expectations. – Reuters