March 12, 2018 / 12:35 PM / 3 months ago

GRAINS-Soybeans hit nearly three-week low on fears for Chinese demand

 (Updates prices, adds details, changes dateline/byline)
    * China could retaliate against tariffs through soybeans
    * Wheat falls for second straight session
    * Corn edges lower 

    By Colin Packham and Sybille de La Hamaide
    SYDNEY, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures tumbled to
a nearly three-week low on Monday on fears of a potential fall
in demand for North American supplies by China as trade war
threats escalated.
    Wheat fell more than 1 percent, extending a sharp slide
recorded on Friday after a government report showed higher
ending stocks than expected, while corn also retreated for a
second straight session.
    The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of
Trade were down 0.2 percent to $10.37-1/2 a bushel by 1145
GMT, having earlier hit a low of $10.32 a bushel - the lowest
since Feb 21. Soybeans fell 2.3 percent on Friday. 
    "The threat of China retaliating after higher U.S. tariffs
via soybeans has became more vivid," said Tobin Gorey, director
of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    Chinese officials have said U.S. soybeans are a prime target
for retaliation against tariffs imposed by the Trump
administration on steel and aluminium imports, the American
Soybean Association said.
    The most active wheat futures were down 1.1 percent to
$4.83-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 2 percent on Friday.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture in a monthly supply and
demand report on Thursday raised its outlook for global wheat
inventory at the end of 2017/18 to a record. High world supplies
were countering support from drought in parts of the Plains.

    The most active corn futures were down 0.5 percent to
$3.88-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.8 percent in the
previous session.
    Forecasts for some rain in Argentina added to bearish
sentiment although the precipitation might be too late to help
some soy and corn fields in the South American nation. 
    Argentina's worst drought in decades and in the southern
U.S. Plains winter wheat belt helped propel prices for all three
commodities to multi-month highs this month.
        
 Prices at 1145 GMT                                             
                             Last  Change    Pct      End    Ytd
                                            Move     2017    Pct
                                                            Move
 CBOT wheat May            483.75   -5.50  -1.12   427.00  13.29
 CBOT corn May             388.50   -2.00  -0.51   350.75  10.76
 CBOT soy May             1037.50   -1.75  -0.17   951.75   9.01
 Paris wheat May           163.00   -0.25  -0.15   162.50   0.31
 Paris maize Jun           163.00   -0.50  -0.31   163.50  -0.31
 Paris rape May            345.25   -1.00  -0.29   347.75  -0.72
 WTI crude oil              61.69   -0.35  -0.56    60.42   2.10
 Euro/dlr                    1.23    0.00  -0.10                
 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel,
 Paris futures in euros per tonne
 
 (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Sunil Nair/Mark
Heinrich)
  
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