U.S. grains: Wheat falls as dollar firms; vegoils drop on India import tax

(Thinkstock photo)

Chicago | Reuters – Chicago wheat futures fell 1.4 percent on Monday as the dollar climbed against a basket of currencies, making U.S. grain more expensive in a well-supplied global market.

Soybean and soyoil futures also eased amid steep declines in palm oil after India hiked palm oil import taxes. Corn futures were about flat.

Chicago Board of Trade December wheat was down 6 cents to $4.21-1/4 per bushel at 10:58 a.m. CST (1658 GMT), giving back its gains from the previous session.

Ample world supplies, padded by a record harvest in Russia, heightened export competition and left U.S. and western European origins struggling against cheaper Black Sea supplies.

“Wheat prices are under pressure, U.S. export sales came in lower and European exports are also struggling while we have plenty of world supplies,” said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

A tender issued by Iraq, which is seeking 50,000 tonnes of wheat from the United States, Australia or Canada, could bring fresh U.S. sales as there will not be competition from Russia and Ukraine.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 259,264 tonnes of U.S. wheat were inspected in the week ended Nov. 16, near the low end of analyst estimates for 250,000 to 450,000 tonnes.

“There’s some demand questions for sure,” Price Futures Group broker Jack Scoville said.

Exports of soybeans totaled 2.1 million tonnes and corn 632,793 tonnes, both within the range of estimates.

CBOT January soybean futures were down 2-3/4 cents at $9.87-3/4, a decline of 0.3 percent. CBOT December corn was up 3/4 cent at $3.43-3/4. Soyoil futures eased 1.3 percent, while palm oil futures sank 3.3 percent.

Global vegoil markets tumbled while Indian vegoil futures surged in the wake of India’s announcement late on Friday that it was hiking import taxes on crude palm oil to 30 percent from 15 percent.

Losses in soybeans were capped by dry weather in Argentina, which could hurt yields in the top soymeal and soyoil exporter.

“Drier than average condition8s to dominate Argentina’s Pampas through at least end of month; early corn and soybean area and yield could start to be negatively affected,” Thomson Reuters Agriculture Research analysts said in a note.


Stories from our other publications