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Chicago agricultural commodities settle lower

Xinhua, February 15, 2017 Adjust font size:

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures close lower Tuesday with soybean futures falling to a six-day low, pressured by the rapidly advancing harvest of a record crop in Brazil and much-needed rains in Argentina.

Corn and wheat futures also weakened, setting back from 7-1/2-month highs in the absence of bullish news. Declines in corn and wheat were limited by speculators defending long positions they have built up during the recent rally.

Soybeans were on the defensive amid expectations of a bumper harvest in both Brazil and Argentina that will boost competition for U.S. supplies on the export market.

The most active corn contract for March delivery fell 1.25 cents, or 0.33 percent, to 3.7425 dollars per bushel. March wheat delivery fell 2.75 cents, or 0.61 percent, to 4.495 dollars per bushel. March soybeans dropped 9.25 cents, or 0.88 percent, to 10.45 dollars per bushel.

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 0.41 dollar per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 67 points higher.

Jason Roose, U.S. Commodities grain analyst, said that the grain markets remained on the defensive.

"With profit-taking in all grains taking a break from the surge in open interest, improving weather in South America, increased producer selling, and the strong dollar had grain buyers starting to look at more competitive world markets," Roose says.

The forecasting group added that rain in Argentina would maintain the potential for high corn and soybean yields in that country.

Brazil's 2016-17 corn crop should reach a record 89.6 million tonnes as analysts raised expected yields due to favorable weather.

Dealers said that selling by U.S. soybean farmers has also helped to stall a run-up in prices this month.

U.S. farmers have made advance sales of up to half the soybeans they expect to harvest this year, looking to get ahead of the expected record South American crop.

Signs of good export demand kept the declines in check.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters reported the sale of 229,000 tonnes of corn for delivery to Japan in the 2017-18 marketing year. It was the second day in a row that the government has announced a flash corn sale. Endit