GRAINS-Soybeans at 1-1/2-week low on forecasts of rains in Argentina

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Jan 23 (Reuters)Chicago soybean futures slid for a fourth consecutive session on Monday, to their lowest in more than one week as expectations of rains in Argentina’s parched growing areas eased concerns over supplies.

Corn fell to a one-week low, while wheat slid after closing higher on Friday.

“(Argentina’s) central crop areas received some rain over the weekend. And weather forecasters expect more of the same through this week,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“The moisture in those regions will arrest declines in crop conditions, stalling any further cuts to crop forecasts.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) gave up 0.7% to $14.96 a bushel as of 0315 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Jan. 12 at $14.95 earlier in the session.

Corn Cv1 fell 0.6% to $6.72 a bushel, the weakest since Jan. 17 and wheat Wv1 dropped 0.7% to $7.36-1/4 a bushel.

The spotlight is on South American crop weather given the drought in Argentina, the world’s largest supplier of soymeal and soyoil.

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A storm front should bring moderate to abundant rainfall across most of the country’s key agricultural area this week, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday.

Brazil, meanwhile, is on track to produce a record soy crop, which may hasten a seasonal shift in export demand away from U.S. supplies.

Corn futures pared losses and traded higher at times after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported sales of U.S. old-crop corn in the week to Jan. 12 at 1.1 million tonnes, above trade expectations and the biggest weekly tally since mid-November. EXP/CORN

Weekly sales of old-crop U.S. wheat also topped expectations at 473,100 tonnes, lifting CBOT wheat futures.

Large speculators raised their net long position in CBOT corn futures in the week to Jan. 17, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and raised their net long position in soybeans.

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

((naveen.thukral@thomsonreuters.com; +65-6870-3829; Reuters Messaging: naveen.thukral.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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