Roundup: U.S. agricultural commodities post losses amid escalating trade tensions

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-24 04:06:29|Editor: Chengcheng
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CHICAGO, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural commodities traded more than one percent lower in the past trading week ending June 22, amid massive selling triggered by escalating trade tensions.

The most active contract for July soybeans were down 11 cents weekly, or 1.21 percent, to 8.945 dollars per bushel. July corn delivery fell 4 cents, or 1.1 percent, to 3.5725 dollars per bushel. July wheat delivery was down 8.25 cents, or 1.65 percent, to 4.9125 dollars per bushel.

Trade disputes between the United States and China continued to pressure the soybean futures, pushing the price to the lowest level since March 2016. CBOT brokers reported that funds, now net short in soybeans, sold 12,000 contracts of soybeans on Tuesday alone.

Although soybean futures found support in late week trading as bargain hunters snapped up cheap supplies and contracts, the gains up to 15 cents on Friday failed to offset the losses in the previous sessions.

In its latest weekly crop progress report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rated 73 percent of soybean crop condition as good/excellent, one point below a week ago but well over the 67 percent from a year ago.

Traders are now awaiting quarterly stocks and acreage reports on Friday, with record large soybean stocks being expected. But the soybean outlook hinges on June-August exports, said analysts.

CBOT wheat, which had suffered big losses in the previous week, rebounded for three sessions in a row this week due to bargain buying and declining crop prospects in Russia Black Sea and Australia. However, profit taking dragged down its prices again on Friday.

Eastern Ukraine and southern Russia have seen a dry spring and early summer. Crops there are expected to be impacted by excessive heat over the next ten days. Moreover, spring wheat planted area in Russia is reportedly at record low.

The U.S. winter wheat harvest so far has rolled along smoothly, and USDA reported that 78 percent of the U.S. spring wheat is rated as good/excellent, compared to 70 percent a week ago.

U.S. wheat export potential will be the best in years, according to observers with AgResoure, a Chicago-based agricultural advisory and research firm.

CBOT corn fell modestly over the week as Mexico announced tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports. India, Turkey and Europe Union are also implementing tariffs in retaliation against U.S. protectionist measures.

U.S. export sales of its agricultural commodities still face uncertainty or even jeopardy in the future, as many market observers fear, if Washington fails to repair relations with its key trade partners.