September 13, 2018 / 3:51 PM / 9 days ago

GRAINS-U.S. soy weakens on trade concerns; corn, wheat fall

(Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote, changes dateline; previous PARIS/SINGAPORE)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures eased on Thursday, giving up early gains after U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States was under no pressure to make a trade deal with China, the biggest buyer of the oilseed.

Corn and wheat futures also were weak, with corn weighed down by the U.S. Agriculture Department’s forecast for record U.S. yields this fall. Wheat futures faced pressure from USDA’s bigger-than-expected estimate of the Russian crop, which further dimmed prospects for U.S. supplies on the export market.

Expectations for a record U.S. soybean harvest added to the bearish tone.

“We are getting closer to harvest,” said Bill Gentry, a broker at Risk Management Commodities. “Upward momentum is hard to maintain when you get the combines running. No matter how you slice it there is going to be more than enough (supply).”

At 10:34 a.m. CDT (1534 GMT), CBOT November soybean futures were down 2-1/4 cents at $8.37-3/4 a bushel.

Soybeans initially firmed on news confirmed by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow that the Trump administration had invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that China welcomed the invitation, and the two countries were discussing the details.

But Trump said on Twitter that a Wall Street Journal story on Wednesday about the invitation from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amid rising U.S. political pressure on Trump to ease up on trade fights “has it wrong.”

Soybean futures subsequently dropped to a session low of $8.35-1/4.

CBOT December soft red winter wheat futures were off 3-1/4 cents at $5.03-1/2 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its monthly supply and demand report, increased its forecast for the Russian wheat harvest to 71 million tonnes, up from a previous estimate of 68 million tonnes. Many traders have expected lower output due to a European drought that has stoked fears of export curbs.

“Higher Russian wheat output is a bit of a surprise given the dry weather they had during the growing period,” said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist with National Australia Bank.

CBOT December corn was 1-1/2 cents lower at $3.51 a bushel. (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Keith Weir and Dan Grebler)

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