GRAINS-Soybeans ease after rally, Argentina drought in focus


SINGAPORE, December 29 (Reuters)Chicago soybean futures fell for the first time in four sessions on Thursday as the market took a breather, although dry weather in Argentina limited losses.

Wheat fell after closing up about 1.5% on Wednesday on support from cold North American weather threatening the winter crop.


* The most active Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybean contract Sv1 was down 0.1% at $15.11-1/2 a bushel, at 0109 GMT, wheat Wv1 fell 0.3% to $7.38 a bushel and corn CV1 fell 0.4% to $6.80-1/4 a bushel.

* Soybean futures continue to be supported by South American weather conditions, with a lack of rainfall in Argentina’s main growing areas threatening the harvest.

* The easing of health restrictions in China has extended to food importsas controls have been lifted on imported chilled and frozen food, effective January 8.

* However, global markets are cautious about the near-term impact of China’s COVID policy shift, with a ascend in infections straining hospitals and prompting some countries to consider new rules for Chinese visitors.

* Wheat rallied in recent sessions as extreme cold gripped the United States, threatening to damage winter wheat crops already weakened by drought.

* Argentinian farmers have sold 78.9% of the 2021/2022 soybean crop to date, the Agriculture Department said on Wednesday, as growers continue to benefit from a preferential exchange rate aimed at attracting the U.S. dollars they sorely needed. need.

* Wheat prices came under pressure as Russia-focused agricultural consultancy Sovecon raised its forecast for Russia’s 2022/23 wheat crop estimate at 101.2 million tonnes, up from the previous estimate of 100.9 million tonnes.

* Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, soybean meal, corn and wheat futures on Wednesday and net sellers of CBOT soybean oil contracts, traders said . COMFUND/CBT


* Stock indices closed lower on Wednesday while US Treasury yields rose as investors viewed 2023 with caution and weighed hopes for an economic boost from the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China by over concerns about rising infections in that country. MKTS/GLOB


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(Reporting by Naveen Thukral)

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