U.S. soybean futures plunge nearly 3 pct as traders await fresh Chinese purchases

2020-01-26 04:03:58 GMT2020-01-26 12:03:58(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CHICAGO, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures settled mixed for the trading week ending Jan. 24, with soybean futures dropping nearly three percent as trades were awaiting fresh Chinese purchases.

The most active soybean contract for March delivery lost 27.75 cents, or 2.98 percent week on week, to close at 9.02 U.S. dollars per bushel. March corn decreased 2 cents, or 0.05 percent, to settle at 3.8725 dollars per bushel. March wheat rose 3 cents, or 0.53 percent, to end at 5.735 dollars per bushel.

China and the United States signed their phase-one economic and trade agreement last week. Market participants hope the deal will increase U.S. crop sales to China.

Brazilian soybean production will be higher than the previous year, according to consultancy Agroconsult. This news also weighed on soybean prices.

Farmers in the South American country are now expected to harvest 124.3 million metric tons of soybeans, up from 119 million metric tons last year, analysts from the firm said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday reported export sales of U.S. soybeans in the week ending Jan. 16 at 790,000 metric tons for the 2019/2020 marketing year, up 23 percent from the previous week and 59 percent from the prior four-week average.

Export sales of U.S. corn were 1,006,900 metric tons for 2019/2020, up 28 percent from the previous week and 92 percent from the prior four-week average, the USDA said.

The USDA reported export sales of U.S. wheat at 696,000 metric tons for 2019/2020, up 7 percent from the previous week and 58 percent from the prior four-week average.

Brisk global demand continued to underpin CBOT wheat futures, analysts said. Traders also worried that transport disruptions in France, a drought-hit harvest in Australia and proposals to cap grain exports from Russia will tighten global supplies.

U.S. corn futures ended lower on the week from the spillover effect of soybeans. U.S. corn is one of the world's cheapest feed grain following an unexpected surge in Argentine exporting price.

The USDA said in its latest crop inspection report that weekly U.S. soybean export inspections were 1.2 million metric tons, at the top end of insiders' expectations for 600,000 to 1.2 million metric tons.

Weekly U.S. export inspections were 435,129 metric tons for wheat and 345,859 metric tons for corn. Insiders had expected 400,000 to 600,000 metric tons for wheat, and 450,000 to 800,000 metric tons for corn.