Soybeans end lower in volatile session, corn firms

Soybeans end lower in volatile session, corn firms
* CBOT May soy nears six-week low before paring losses
* Soymeal climbs nearly 3 percent; Argentina eyed
* Corn turns up after six-week low
* Wheat turns higher on bargain-buying, weather

(New throughout; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline,
dateline, previous PARIS/SINGAPORE)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures closed
mostly lower on Friday after a wild session that saw the May
soybean contract tumble to its lowest in over a month on worries
about trade tensions, only to pare losses and briefly turn
higher in late moves as soymeal soared.
Corn closed modestly higher after notching a six-week low on
the trade jitters, while wheat rose on bargain-buying and a
somewhat drier outlook for the U.S. Plains production belt.
Chicago Board of Trade May soybeans settled down 1-1/2
cents at $10.28-1/4 per bushel after falling to $10.09-1/4, the
contract's lowest since Feb. 12.
May corn ended up 1-1/4 cents at $3.77-1/4 a bushel
after falling to $3.69-1/4, its lowest since Feb. 9. CBOT May
wheat finished up 4-1/2 cents at $4.60-1/4 a bushel.
Soybeans plunged in early moves on worries about trade
issues with China, the world's top soy importer, a day after
U.S. President Donald Trump announced tariffs on up to $60
billion of Chinese goods.
However, soybeans were not on China's list of American
goods, including pork, that could be subject to extra duties in
response to U.S. tariffs.
"These markets trade fear before facts. We are fearful that
if they would do something with corn or soybeans, that our
demand base might dry up quickly," said Brian Hoops, an analyst
with Midwest Market Solutions.
China is projected to import 97 million tonnes of soybeans
in the 2017/18 marketing year and 100 million in 2018/19,
according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Those totals
cannot be met by South American suppliers alone, analysts said,
making it less likely that China would retaliate against U.S.
"Fundamentally, our view is that in terms of retaliatory
measures, soybeans is very difficult for China to do," said
Charles Clack, a commodity analyst at Rabobank.
Soybeans were underpinned by strength in soymeal futures
and strong crush margins that should encourage U.S. soy
processors to maintain a strong soy crushing pace.
Soymeal may have drawn support from crop losses in
drought-hit Argentina, the world's top soymeal exporter. The
Buenos Aires grains exchange on Thursday cut its estimate of the
country's soy harvest to 39.5 million tonnes from 42 million
tonnes previously.
Wheat futures rallied as forecasts on Friday scaled back
some of the rain expected in the U.S. Plains next week.
"The weather pattern is not what the bears had hoped for.
There's going to be some smattering of moisture. ... But the
intensity of the rains that had been forecasted the other day is
not there," a Chicago trader said.

CBOT settlement prices:
Net Pct Volume
Last change change
CBOT wheat WK8 460.25 4.50 1.0 72432
CBOT corn CK8 377.25 1.25 0.3 262673
CBOT soybeans SK8 1028.25 -1.50 -0.1 155890
CBOT soymeal SMK8 377.90 9.90 2.7 79363
CBOT soyoil BOK8 31.42 -0.46 -1.4 72286
NOTE: CBOT May wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per
bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per

(Additonal reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral
in Singapore; Editing by Susan Fenton, Jeffrey Benkoe and
Jonathan Oatis)

First Published: 2018-03-23 03:59:30
Updated 2018-03-23 22:24:43

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