SINGAPORE — Chicago soybean, corn and wheat futures edged lower on Friday, but all three were poised for weekly gains as strong global demand for agricultural products supported prices.
* The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) slid 0.1% to $15.22-3/4 a bushel, as of 0225 GMT, corn lost 0.1% to $6.81-3/4 a bushel and wheat gave up 0.4% to $7.49-1/4 a bushel.
* For the week, soybeans are up 1.1%, corn has added 0.8% and wheat has gained 1%.
* China, by far the world’s biggest soybean importer, is likely to step up purchases in the weeks ahead after the country eased COVID-19 restrictions.
* A weekly report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday showed that export sales of soybeans totalled 1.275 million tonnes in the week ended Jan. 19, topping market expectations.
* Corn export sales of 925,900 tonnes and wheat export sales of 561,400 tonnes were in line with trade estimates.
* Traders said the gains in corn and soybeans were limited by the upcoming South American harvest.
* Recent rains have brought badly needed relief to much of Argentina’s parched agricultural land, the Buenos Aires Grains exchange said on Thursday, with coming rains expected to further help farmers in the planting stage amid a historic drought.
* The grains received additional support from concerns that the crops of key supplier Ukraine will be smaller due to the war, and that Russia’s crop also will fall below expectations.
* Ukraine’s corn and wheat production is set to fall for a second year in 2023, with corn output not expected to exceed 18 million tonnes and wheat production 16 million tonnes as farmers reduce planting due to the war, a grain sector group said on Thursday.
* Ukraine’s agriculture minister said last month that 2022 corn production could fall to 22 million-23 million tonnes from 41.9 million tonnes in 2021.
* Wheat production is estimated to have fallen to about 20 million tonnes last year.
* The USDA said on Thursday it saw Russia’s official wheat crop estimate as “not feasible.”
* Mark Jekanowski, chairman of the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board, told the Argus Media’s Paris Grain Conference that the agency’s analysis of weather and previous crops did not support such a high crop as Russia estimated.
* Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat, soybean, corn, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said.
* Asian stocks rose and were poised for their fifth straight week of gains after a set of data highlighted a resilient U.S. economy, lifting investor sentiment ahead of next week’s slate of central bank monetary policy meetings.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1330 US Consumption Adjusted MM Dec 1330 US U Mich Sentiment Final Jan (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)