U.S. corn, soybeans fall in risk-off trade; wheat firms

CHICAGO, Dec 6 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean futures fell on Monday, with concerns about the spread of Omicron coronavirus variant causing investors to take some risk out of the market, traders said.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday afternoon that showed large speculators cut their net longs in both commodities added pressure.

Some profit taking also was noted after grains and oilseeds rallied on Friday.

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“We are leaning lower after the strength we saw last week,” said Ted Seifried, chief agriculture strategist with the Zaner Group in Chicago. “We saw the funds had gotten out of a fair amount of their positions.”

But prices closed well above their session lows as the market found technical support.

Wheat futures firmed, with signs of strong export demand underpinning prices. Weakness during overnight trading led to a round of bargain buying.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybean futures settled down 5-3/4 cents at $12.61-1/2 a bushel. CBOT March corn was 1/2 cent lower at $5.83-1/2.

CBOT March soft red winter wheat ended 2-1/2 cents higher to $8.06-1/4 a bushel after finding support at its session low of $7.89-1/2.

Saudi Arabia’s main state wheat buying agency, the Saudi Grains Organization, made a large purchase in an international tender and traders said deals for more supplies were expected.

“They bought 689,000 tons of wheat strictly for July, but missed the May and June slots, suggesting they will come back for those later,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED&F Man Capital, said in a note to clients.

Additionally, Jordan issued a tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that weekly export inspections of wheat totaled 245,963 tonnes. USDA also upwardly revised its wheat inspections total for the prior week to 390,771 tonnes from 250,651 tonnes.

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Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Editing by Amy Caren Daniel, Will Dunham and Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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