|07 March, 2019

Wheat steadies, but tepid U.S. export demand caps gains

The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade edged up 0.1% to $4.50-1/2 a bushel

Image used for illustrative purpose. A view shows ears of barley during sunset in a field of the Solgonskoye private farm outside the Siberian village of Talniki in Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia August 25, 2018.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A view shows ears of barley during sunset in a field of the Solgonskoye private farm outside the Siberian village of Talniki in Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia August 25, 2018.

REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

SYDNEY - U.S. wheat futures steadied on Thursday after falling nearly 14 percent over the past three weeks, but remained under pressure as weak demand for North American stocks kept prices near an 11-month low.

Corn eased on concerns that a much anticipated U.S.-China trade deal may not materialise, while soybeans were unchanged.

The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade edged up 0.1 percent to $4.50-1/2 a bushel by 0335 GMT, having closed down 2.8 percent on Wednesday.

However, analysts said wheat remained under pressure as U.S. exports struggle to find much demand overseas.

"Demand is proving to be light-on," said Tobin Gorey, director, agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

U.S. sales have lost out particularly to Black Sea exporters and the Ukraine expects a good grain harvest this year thanks to an early spring and favourable weather. 

The most active corn futures were down 0.3 percent at $3.71-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.9 percent in the previous session.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said ethanol production fell in the latest week to 1.02 million barrels per day, while stocks of the biofuel rose to 24.26 million barrels, the highest in a year and the second-most on record.

The most active soybean futures were unchanged at $9.02 a bushel, having closed down 1.3 percent on Wednesday.

Washington and Beijing have been locked in intense negotiations to end the trade war between the world's two largest economies. President Donald Trump, citing progress in talks, last week delayed a planned tariff increase to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods.        

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)

© Reuters News 2019

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