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GRAINS-Corn falls; hovers near 7-year high on Chinese demand

· 02/04/2021 23:33
GRAINS-Corn falls; hovers near 7-year high on Chinese demand

China buys nearly 6 million tonnes of U.S. corn last week

Soybeans little changed

Wheat falls despite Russian move to limit exports

By Colin Packham

- U.S. corn futures edged lower on Friday, although confirmation of soaring demand from China kept prices at a more than seven-year high.

Soybeans edged higher, while wheat dipped despite Russia's move to limit exports.

The most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade Cv1 were down 0.3% at $5.48-1/2 a bushel by 0418 GMT. Corn rose 0.4% on Thursday, hitting its highest level since June 2013 of $5.58 a bushel.

"The China feed puzzle continues to dominate market thinking," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, referring to questions about how much more U.S. corn will need to be imported to counter the shortfalls in local production.

U.S. corn export sales reached 7.520 million tonnes in the week ending Jan. 28, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). nIGB560441

This was the biggest week of sales on record, led by 5.860 million tonnes sold to China, although the market had already absorbed much of the optimism from those sales when they were announced in daily export notices.

Corn little changed for the week, after jumping more than 9% last week.

The most-active soybean futures Sv1 were little changed at $13.73-1/4 a bushel, after closing flat in the previous week.

Soybeans were also unchanged for the week, after gaining 4% last week.

Brazil's Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias on Thursday confirmed the government expects to harvest bumper soybean and corn crops despite planting and harvesting delays in 2020. nL1N2KA16A

The most-active wheat futures Wv1 were down 0.4% at $6.35-1/4 a bushel after closing down 1.6% in the previous session.

Wheat is down more than 4% for the week, after gaining 4% in the previous week.

Wheat traders were also assessing the latest Russian announcement that the country plans to launch a permanent mechanism to address its wheat export tax on April 1.


(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

((colin.packham@thomsonreuters.com; +61-2 9321 8161; Reuters Messaging: colin.packham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))