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US grain futures see selling pressure Thursday


US corn futures are trading 2 to 4 cents lower in midday dealings Thursday. Soybeans are down 10 to 13 cents and wheat futures are 8 to 11 cents down. A stronger U.S. dollar and sharply lower crude oil prices are bearish “outside market” forces working against the grains..


The International Grains Council today projected world corn production at 1,193 million MT up from 1,139 million MT this season, with the US crop seen climbing to 384 million MT from the prior season’s 360.3 million MT.


In soybeans, weather in South American leans bearish. Argentina will get more rain the next several days, and that means the peak in crop stress has likely passed. A dry bias in Brazil the next week supports rapid soy harvesting.


Rising US tensions with China are raising demand concerns. President Xi’s government is seeking to impose real costs for governments and businesses that criticize China’s human-rights record calling for boycotts on products from companies that have criticized Beijing.


At a meeting between top diplomats of the U.S. and China last week, Politburo member Yang Jiechi made extended remarks attacking the U.S.’s human-rights record and calling on the world to stop interfering in China’s “internal affairs.”


Soybean oil futures are sharply lower after hitting new contract highs Tuesday as weakness in crude oil prices triggered active fund selling after May futures fell below the upside gap created on the opening March 23. Soymeal is finding minor support from unwinding of short meal/long soyoil spreads.


Winter wheat futures are posting solid losses at midsession. Winter wheat crop conditions are improving and keeping pressure on futures. Rain and snow may reach the parched Canadian Prairies next week, but little moisture is forecast to fall across the U.S. spring wheat belt. Most crops in Europe and the Black Sea region remain in good shape but there are some talking about greater winterkill in some Russia areas.


The International Grains Council forecast global wheat production will rise to 790 million MT, up from 774 million MT last year.


Important USDA reports on US planting intentions and March 1 inventories may limit additional losses in the grains and keep price action choppy until the March 31 data release.


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