By Tom Polansek
CHICAGO, April 6 (Reuters) – Chicago Board of Trade grain and soybean futures crumbled on Thursday on disappointing U.S. export sales and an improved weather outlook for U.S. spring plantings, analysts said.
U.S. soybean export sales for 2022/2023 were 155,300 tonnes for the week ended March 30, down 42% from the prior four-week average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. That was below analysts’ expectations for 200,000 to 600,000 tonnes. There were net cancellations of 48,300 tonnes for 2023/2024. EXP/SOY
For corn, weekly U.S. export sales of 1.2 million tonnes for 2022/2023 were within analysts’ estimates, though some were hoping for a bigger number after the USDA recently made a string of daily sales announcements to China.
“The market as a whole was really hoping for a big splashy number,” said Ted Seifried, chief market strategist for the Zaner Group. “We didn’t do that.”
Most-active soybean futures Sv1 settled down 18-1/2 cents at $14.92-1/2 per bushel and touched their lowest price since March 31. Corn Cv1 fell 9-1/4 cents to $6.43-1/2 per bushel and hit its lowest price since March 27.
Wheat Wv1 ended 6-1/2 cents lower at $6.75-1/2 per bushel at the CBOT, after reaching its lowest price since March 24. K.C. wheat rose on concerns about dryness hurting the U.S. crop.
Forecasts for warmer, drier weather in the U.S. Farm Belt added to pressure on CBOT futures, as it will encourage corn and soybean plantings, traders said.
“Temperatures are expected to rise beginning today and extending into next week,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage. “The trade is beginning to factor in the possibility that close to 70% of the U.S. corn crop will be planted in a timely manner.”
In Ukraine, additional grain shipments from April to June may unexpectedly lift this season’s exports, according to a report citing the country’s first deputy farm minister.
Grain traders are awaiting a monthly U.S. agricultural supply and demand report due on Tuesday. The CBOT will be closed for Good Friday.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Sohini Goswami, Jane Merriman and Richard Chang)
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