Corn falls 1.5% as rains improve production prospects

Chicago corn futures fell 1.5% on Monday, as rains across a key U.S. growing region eased trader concerns about limited global supply and also pressured prices.

Soybeans fell 1%, though strong Chinese demand limited losses, while wheat also dropped.

The most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 1.5% at $6.45-1/4 a bushel by 0509 GMT, having gained 3.5% in the previous session.

“The weekend did see useful rainfall in the drier regions, and that rainfall will alleviate crop stress for a period,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“The return of higher temperatures later this week though tempers the good news.”

About 41% of Iowa, the nation’s top corn producer and No. 2 soybean state, was under severe drought last week, according to the weekly U.S. drought monitor published last week.

The most active soybean futures were down 1.1% to $13.81 a bushel, having firmed 5% on Friday.

The wet weather also weighed on soybean prices, analysts said, though strong Chinese demand capped losses.

Chinese state-owned importers bought at least eight cargo shipments of U.S. soybeans on Friday, the country’s largest U.S. soybean purchases in 4-1/2 months, two U.S. traders familiar with the deals said.

China’s May soybean imports from Brazil jumped 82% from the previous month, bolstered by the arrival of cargoes due to land earlier but delayed by rains, customs data showed on Sunday.

The most active wheat futures slid 1% to $6.58 a bushel, having closed 3.7% higher on Friday.

An advancing U.S. harvest was also pressing prices, analysts said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Colin Packham, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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