US soybean futures suffer weekly fall as demand concerns linger

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures settled mixed in the trading week ending July 5, with corn rising weekly over unsatisfactory crop rating and soybeans falling sharply due to demand concerns.

The most active corn contract for December delivery was up 10.75 cents, or 2.49 percent, to close at 4.4225 dollars per bushel. September wheat was down 12.25 cents, or 2.32 percent, to settle at 5.15 dollars per bushel. November soybeans were down 28.5 cents, or 3.09 percent weekly, to close at 8.945 dollars per bushel.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday released its updated crop progress report, showing that only 56 percent of US corn crops were rated in good/excellent conditions by the week ending June 30, 20 percentage points lower than last year and the same as the previous week.

The unimproved crop conditions kept supporting CBOT corn prices in the Independence-Day-shortened trading week.

In another weekly export on export sales for the period June 21-27, the USDA confirmed that net US soybean sales reached 867,600 metric tones for 2018/19 marketing year, up noticeably from the previous week and from the prior four-week average.

Although the weekly export sales seemed large, the pace of US soybean exports continued to fall further behind what is needed to reach the USDA’s 2018/19 annual forecast, according to AgResource, a Chicago-based agricultural research firm.

With just three months of data left to collect for the whole 2018/19 marketing year, the average export pace was still low. Amid slow demand from top soybean buyer China as a result of unsolved trade disputes, AgResource now expects downward revisions from the USDA.

Recent African swine fever cases in China, which might curb soy meal demand, remained another factor to drag down CBOT soybean prices, said Virginia McGathey, market analyst of McGathey Commodities.

CBOT wheat futures posted weekly losses as US farmers started to harvest in full swing, when recent favorable weather conditions allowed US wheat producers into fields.

Mostly dry weather in US wheat growing areas this weekend will lead to further harvest acceleration, said market followers.