Corn hits contract lows; soybean, wheat end lower

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    CHICAGO- US corn futures fell to life-of-contract lows on Friday, pressured by disappointing weekly US export data and forecasts for benign weather in the heart of the Midwest crop belt, analysts said.

    Soybeans turned down, retreating from early advances, and wheat followed the lower trend.

    Chicago Board of Trade December corn settled down 3-1/4 cents at $3.55-1/2 per bushel after hitting a contract low at $3.53.

    CBOT November soybeans ended down 3-3/4 cents at $8.57-3/4 a bushel and December wheat fell 2-1/2 cents to settle at $4.63-3/4 a bushel.

    Corn declined after the US Department of Agriculture reported export sales of US corn in the latest week at 250,800 tons (old and new crop years combined), below a range of trade expectations for 500,000 to 900,000 tons.

    Also, forecasts called for beneficial rains next week in portions of the Corn Belt, and no sign of a cold spell that could shorten the growing season for this year’s late-maturing corn and soy crops.

    “The US weather is non-threatening. We don’t look for any frost or freezes by the end of the month,” said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

    Private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, raised its forecast of the average US 2019 corn yield to 169.6 bushels per acre (bpa), up from 167.8 a month ago and just above the US Department of Agriculture’s estimate of 169.5.

    The USDA is scheduled to release updated monthly US and world crop production estimates on Sept. 12.

    For soybeans, IEG slightly raised its US yield forecast to 48.4 bpa, from 48.2 last month.

    CBOT soybean futures found support from the USDA reporting weekly soybean export sales at 857,900 tons (old and new crop years combined), above trade expectations.

    But soy futures turned down on technical selling and outlooks for mild weather that should bolster production prospects.

    “The key fundamental factor is the US weather which has put pressure on prices,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank.

    Also bearish, Statistics Canada reported Canadian stocks of canola, an oilseed that competes with soy, at a record-high 3.9 million tons, up 55 percent from last year. – Reuters