Corn eases, set for 3rd weekly gain on supply concerns



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SINGAPORE — Chicago corn lost ground on Friday, but the market is on track for a third week of gains as prices are being underpinned by U.S. planting delays and concerns over dwindling global supplies.

Wheat slid for the first time in three sessions, while soybeans are poised for a positive finish after closing marginally lower last week.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) has added 7.4% in three weeks of gains. The market was trading down 0.7% at $7.89-1/2 a bushel as of 0306 GMT.

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Wheat has lost 3.2% this week, while soybeans are up 1.6%.

Worries about tightening global corn supplies are supporting prices. The International Grains Council on Thursday forecast that global corn production would fall by 13 million tonnes in the 2022/23 season to 1.197 billion tonnes, reflecting smaller crops in Ukraine and the United States.

The inter-governmental body, in its first full assessment of the 2022/23 season, forecast Ukraine’s corn crop falling to 18.6 million tonnes, down from the prior season’s 41.9 million.

Corn planting delays in the United States are providing support to prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported export sales of U.S. corn in the week ended April 14 at 1.268 million tonnes (old and new crop years combined), below a range of trade expectations.

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In the wheat market, Russia will be able to increase exports in the new July-June season due to high carry-over stocks in the south of the country, a record crop forecast and the expiry of a state export quota, consultancy Sovecon forecast on Thursday.

Russian exporters have largely managed to resolve problems with logistics and the transfer of payments caused by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow since late February and are exporting wheat from the Russian side of the Black Sea and sporadically from the Azov Sea.

As one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, higher exports from Russia will help to partly meet rising global demand in the event that Ukraine’s exports remain low and Kyiv does not regain access to its Black Sea ports.

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Strong demand is supporting soybean futures. The USDA reported weekly U.S. soybean sales at 1.7 million tonnes, toward the high end of trade expectations.

Argentina’s major inland grain ports around Rosario were operating normally on Thursday despite a strike by maritime unions, a port official said, with the strike expected to be lifted in the afternoon following government intervention.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Thursday, and net buyers of soyoil and soybean futures, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Uttaresh.V)



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