Soy, corn futures slide following fresh round of China tariffs

* China ups tariffs on soy, corn, wheat, sorghum, beef, pork
* China halted U.S. ag purchases earlier this month
* Market awaits Pro Farmer crop estimates after Midwest tour
* Cool Midwest weather in focus

(Updates with closing U.S. prices and Pro Farmer's U.S. crop
estimates)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures hit a
three-month low and soybeans neared a three-week bottom after
China said it would impose additional tariffs on U.S. products
including grains and soy, escalating the trade war between the
world's top two economies.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures posted the
biggest declines. China is the world's top soybean buyer, and
the trade row has hit the market hard. But corn pared losses and
wheat futures turned higher.
CBOT November soybeans settled down 12-1/4 cents at
$8.56-1/2 per bushel after hitting $8.55, the contract's lowest
since Aug. 5.
December corn ended down 3-1/4 cents at $3.67-3/4 a
bushel after dipping to $3.65-1/2, its lowest since May 13,
while December wheat finished up 6 cents at $4.77-3/4 a
bushel.
All three markets fell immediately after China announced
retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods,
including agricultural products.
But the impact on grains was seen as largely psychological,
given that China already said this month it halted purchases of
U.S. agricultural products.
"China is already buying zero (U.S.) soybeans; I don't know
if increasing the tariffs is going to change anything," said Joe
Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain, a brokerage and
consulting firm.
"Today's announcement was more about reinforcing negative
market sentiment - which it did - and about communicating to
traders that we are far from an agreement with China," INTL
FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman said in a
client note.
Traders continued to monitor crop weather in the U.S.
Midwest, where corn and soybean crops are behind in development
following widespread spring planting delays.
Storms brought much-needed moisture to the Corn Belt this
week, alleviating worries about emerging dryness. But forecasts
called for cool temperatures over the next 10 days, at a time
when crops could use a warm spell.
"I have questions about whether we are lacking the heat that
we need to push these crops to maturity," Vaclavik said.
After the CBOT close, the editors of the Pro Farmer
newsletter projected the U.S. 2019 corn yield at 163.3 bushels
per acre and the U.S. soybean yield at 46.1 bushels per acre,
both below the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent
forecasts.
The estimates were released after an annual Pro Farmer crop
tour this week of seven top producing states.

CBOT settlement prices:
Net Pct Volume
Last change change
CBOT wheat WZ9 477.75 6.00 1.3 53277
CBOT corn CZ9 367.75 -3.25 -0.9 226633
CBOT soybeans SX9 856.50 -12.25 -1.4 144859
CBOT soymeal SMZ9 295.40 -3.90 -1.3 51500
CBOT soyoil BOZ9 28.70 -0.20 -0.7 49476
NOTE: CBOT December wheat and corn and November soybeans
shown in cents per bushel, December soymeal in dollars per short
ton and December soyoil in cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore, Editing by David Gregorio and Sandra
Maler)


First Published: 2019-08-23 03:12:05
Updated 2019-08-23 22:50:36


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