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Corn set for monthly loss as U.S. weather boosts crop outlook

07/30/2020 | 11:20pm

* Chicago corn futures face July losses after 2 month of gains

* Expectations of bumper U.S. harvest add pressure on prices

SINGAPORE, July 31 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures rose on Friday but are poised for their first monthly loss in three months with crop-friendly weather across the U.S. Midwest expected to result in a bumper harvest, outweighing strong demand from China.

Soybeans edged higher with the market set for a second month of gains, while wheat gained after closing lower in the last session.

"The USDA reporting hefty export sales to China did not result in a sustained price gain," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade has lost 4% in July. The market is down for a fourth consecutive week while prices were up 0.3% at $3.27-3/4 a bushel, as of 0255 GMT.

Soybeans are up more than 1% this month and wheat has risen 8% in July, the biggest monthly gain since March.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is scheduled to release updated monthly crop production forecasts on Aug. 12, currently projects the average national corn yield at 178.5 bushels per acre, a record high if realized.

On the demand front, Chinese buyers booked their single biggest-ever purchase of U.S. corn, extending their flurry of large U.S. purchases even as tensions between Washington and Beijing rise.

The USDA said on Thursday that private exporters sold 1.937 million tonnes of corn to China for delivery in the 2020/21 marketing year. The previous biggest deal to China was 1.762 million tonnes, reported just two weeks ago.

The agency reported soybean export sales in the week ended July 23 at more than 3.6 million tonnes, above trade expectations.

The U.S. soybean crush is expected to have dropped for a third straight month in June, sinking to 5.333 million short tons, or 177.8 million bushels, according to the average forecast of seven analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly USDA report.

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

Thomson Reuters 2020
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