Wheat drops for 3rd day on U.S. export concerns; corn falls

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SINGAPORE — Chicago wheat futures slid for a third consecutive session on Thursday, with U.S. agriculture product prices coming under pressure from slowing exports.

Corn traded near last session’s two-month low, while soybeans also fell.

“The continued fall in U.S. (wheat) prices is still largely a weakening in U.S. basis and likely remains that way,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) dropped 0.2% to $7.08-1/4 a bushel, as of 0238 GMT, having closed down 1.4% on Wednesday.

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Corn lost 0.2% at $5.09-1/4 a bushel, having dropped earlier in the session to $5.08 a bushel, matching Wednesday’s low which was the weakest since July 9. Soybeans were down 0.2% at $12.76-1/2 a bushel, having firmed 0.2% on Wednesday.

Asia’s grain and oilseed buyers are set to face shipping delays of at least one month after Hurricane Ida damaged key export terminals around the U.S. Gulf Coast.

U.S. exporters inspected just 68,059 tonnes of soybeans for shipment in 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% below the same week a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Some crops are expected to be re-routed to Pacific Northwest ports to try to maintain flows, though this is likely to result in congestion, which will impact wheat shipments as well.

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Traders noted position-squaring ahead of the USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on Friday.

The Department earlier this week estimated 59% of the U.S. corn crop to be in good-to-excellent condition, down 1 percentage point from the previous week.

Farmers neared the end of the harvest in the northern U.S. Plains earlier than usual. The USDA said 95% of the crop had been harvested, up from 80% in early September 2020 and ahead of the five-year average of 83%.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean and soymeal contracts on Wednesday, traders said. They were net sellers of CBOT wheat and soyoil, and net even in corn. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V)