Soy at multi-month lows on demand woes; corn sags, wheat steadies

(Updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes dateline
from previous HAMBURG)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, April 23 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures fell to a
seven-month low on Tuesday as traders focused on demand
destruction resulting from the ongoing U.S. trade war with top
global soy buyer China as well as the effects of a devastating
disease in China's hog herd.
Corn futures fell to contract lows, pressured by ample U.S.
and global supplies, while wheat futures steadied after recent
declines.
As of 11:40 a.m. CDT (1640 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade May
soybeans were down 15-3/4 cents at $8.61-1/4 per bushel,
the contract's lowest since Sept. 19.
CBOT May corn was down 4 cents at $3.50-3/4 a bushel
after hitting a contract low at $3.50-1/4, and CBOT May wheat
was up 1-1/4 cents at $4.37 a bushel.
Soybeans led the way down as traders considered bearish
fundamentals.
"You've got two big issues with China: your unresolved trade
war, and African swine fever, both of which are giant issues
when it comes to demand," said Joe Vaclavik, president of
Standard Grain.
African swine fever, which is fatal to pigs but harmless in
humans, has spread to every province on the Chinese mainland
since its initial detection in August 2018, raising concern
about a drop in Chinese demand for feedstuffs including soy and
corn.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has projected that U.S.
soybean stocks at the end of the 2018/19 marketing year will
reach 895 million bushels, more than double the previous year.
"The weight of this year's fundamentals are being felt by
the market as the realization hits that a China trade deal
likely will not 'fix' the balance sheet," INTL FCStone chief
commodities analyst Arlan Suderman wrote in a client note.
CBOT corn futures fell to contract lows in the front five
contracts. U.S. farmers are holding a sizable amount of
un-priced grain that has yet to hit the market, Vaclavik said.
"When the farmer is undersold, it's hard to rally ... You've
got a lot of corn and beans that need to be priced, and the
market knows it," Vaclavik said.
Others noted pressure on prices from optimism that U.S.
farmers would be able to plant corn this spring despite wet
conditions that have delayed field work.
"Traders believe that farmers can get the crop planted given
a 10-day window to do so," Suderman wrote.
Wheat futures firmed slightly, with the CBOT May contract
up after falling nearly 2% a day earlier. But K.C. hard
red winter wheat futures set contract lows.
"Demand isn't good ... and crop conditions are good,"
Vaclavik said.
The USDA on Monday rated 62 percent of the U.S. winter wheat
crop in good to excellent condition, up from 60 percent a week
earlier. A year ago, the USDA rated
just 31 percent of the crop as good to excellent.

CBOT prices as of 11:39 a.m. CDT (1639 GMT):
Net Pct Volume
Last change change
CBOT wheat WK9 437.00 1.25 0.3 34889
CBOT corn CK9 350.75 -4.00 -1.1 130659
CBOT soybeans SK9 861.25 -15.75 -1.8 114390
CBOT soymeal SMK9 300.40 -2.10 -0.7 41040
CBOT soyoil BOK9 28.21 -0.49 -1.7 42437
NOTE: CBOT May wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per
bushel, May soymeal in dollars per short ton and May soyoil in
cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore; editing by Edmund Blair and Marguerita
Choy)


First Published: 2019-04-23 03:30:15
Updated 2019-04-23 18:52:55


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