Soybeans ease on demand concerns

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    SINGAPORE- Chicago soybean futures slipped for a second session on Monday, as concerns over demand for US supplies amid a flare-up of tensions in the Middle East put pressure on prices.

    Wheat extended losses, while corn edged up after closing lower on Friday.

    Asian shares toppled from an 18-month top on Monday as heightened Middle East tensions sent investors scurrying for the safety of gold, which hit a near seven-year high while oil jumped to four-month peaks.

    The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was down 0.1 percent at $9.40-1/2 a bushel, having closed 1.5 percent weaker on Friday.

    Wheat lost 0.2 percent at $5.53-1/4 a bushel and corn advanced 0.1 percent to $3.87 a bushel.

    “Falling demand is a key concern for the market and the added uncertainty about Iran, and how that may impact the whole world,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said total US soybean export sales last week were 332,047 tons, below analysts’ expectations of 350,000 tons-1.05 million tons.

    China bought 160,241 tons for 2019/20 delivery, including about 132,000 tons switched from unknown destinations.

    Traders are waiting for the USDA to issue crop production data on Jan. 10 amid uncertainty about the size of last year’s corn harvest, which was delayed by cold, wet weather.

    Weekly US corn export sales of 539,991 tons were within analysts’ estimates, while wheat sales of 333,250 tons were towards the lower-end of expectations.

    The market is anxious about how the agency adjusts forecasts for crop exports to China, after Washington and Beijing agreed on a Phase 1 trade agreement last month. – Reuters