Corn, soy, wheat slide on stronger dollar

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CHICAGO — Chicago corn, soybean and wheat futures slipped on Tuesday as a stronger dollar, export concerns and early U.S. harvest activity weighed on the complex ahead of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s monthly supply and demand report at the end of the week.

Analysts anticipate the USDA’s Sept. 10 outlook to increase estimates of U.S. corn and soybean production as the Midwest harvest begins.

The Chicago Board of Trade’s (CBOT) most active corn contract fell 11-1/4 cents to $5.12-3/4 a bushel by 11:26 a.m. (1626 GMT).

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CBOT soybeans lost 9-3/4 cents at $12.82-1/4 a bushel, while wheat slid 9-1/2 cents to $7.16-3/4 a bushel.

The dollar gained 44 cents, pressuring grain exports already suffering from port closures at the U.S. Gulf.

“A rally in the dollar is negative for all of our commodities,” said Brian Hoops, senior market analyst at Midwest Market Solutions.

U.S. exports of corn and soybeans dropped to multi-year lows last week after export terminals in the U.S. South were battered by Hurricane Ida. Export facilities remain closed due to damage and power outages.

“It’s going to take a little longer than we thought to get our exports back up to normal. A lot of buyers are simply walking away from the U.S.,” said Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst at Agrivisor. “There’s still a lot of uncertainty on what’s taking place in the Gulf.”

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U.S. exporters shipped just 68,059 tonnes of soybeans the week ended Sept. 2, down 82% from a week earlier and 96% less than the year-ago period. Corn exports of 275,799 tonnes were 53% lower than the week prior and 69% lower than the year-ago week, according to the USDA.

Soybean futures were underpinned by recent export sales to China, though Chinese soybean imports fell in August from a year ago, customs data showed.

Wheat lost ground on mixed harvest prospects from world suppliers like Russia and North America, though the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences lifted its production forecast for the country’s next crop by more than 17% to a near-record level after recent favorable weather. (Reporting by Christopher Walljasper; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Richard Chang)