WHEAT FUTURES (W) -

End-of-day quote Chicago Board Of Trade - Floor - 02/24
536.25USc
-2.68%

Corn Futures Lead Grains Lower as Coronavirus Saps Momentum

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02/14/2020 | 09:48 pm

By Kirk Maltais

 

--Corn for March delivery fell 0.5% to $3.77 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, with the upward movement that started Wednesday now thoroughly dashed as the coronavirus continues to spread in China.

--Wheat for March delivery lost 0.3% to $5.42 3/4 a bushel.

--Soybeans for March delivery fell 0.3% to $8.93 3/4 a bushel.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

On The Defensive: Some 5,090 new coronavirus infections were reported in China Thursday evening, bringing the total of confirmed cases to more than 63,000 since the outbreak began. Traders believe this is keeping China from accelerating its U.S. agriculture purchases per the terms of the phase one trade deal.

Holiday Caution: With a three-day weekend ahead, the uncertainty stemming from coronavirus and its potential effect on export demand made many grains traders sit out trading Friday. "Traders worry that coronavirus could create troubling headlines over the weekend, with this morning's economic data largely as expected and not strong enough to counter the uncertainty," said Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone.

China's Buying...In Ukraine: China has procured roughly half-a-million metric tons of corn from Ukraine, an agricultural trade publication reported. "All combined, China in the crop year to date has booked an estimated 1.8 [million metric tons] of Ukraine corn -- which we assume is under TRQ import licenses," AgResource said. This is disheartening for U.S. traders, who have been anticipating Chinese buyers as the phase one trade deal officially comes into force this weekend.

 

INSIGHT

 

No Climate Change Here: The USDA is projecting steady prices for soybeans, wheat and corn through the next decade. "Nominal prices for corn, wheat, and soybeans are all projected to average below the 2010-19 period, but higher than the 2000-09 average," the agency said in its annual Agricultural Projections report. Planted acreage of these crops is also expected to remain consistent, although yields for corn and soybeans could gradually rise.

 

AHEAD

 

--Agricultural markets and the federal government will be closed Monday in observance of Presidents Day and will reopen Tuesday.

--Glencore PLC releases its full-year earnings report Tuesday.

--The USDA releases its Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook for February at noon Tuesday.

 

Write to Kirk Maltais at kirk.maltais@wsj.com

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