USA Dollar

Soy, corn futures under pressure as jobs data lifts US dollar – 2024-02-02


CHICAGO, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Chicago Board of Trade
soybean futures fell about 1% on Friday and corn also declined
as the dollar soared after a much stronger-than-expected
monthly U.S. jobs report reduced expectations of near-term
Federal Reserve interest rate cuts.

“When that jobs report came out, the U.S. dollar shot up,
and that seemed to be the catalyst to turn the grains back
down,” said Randy Place, grain analyst with the Hightower
Report.

A firmer dollar makes U.S. grains less competitive globally,
and higher interest rates tend to dampen economic growth and
demand for commodities.

CBOT corn followed the weak trend but wheat futures were
choppy, firming at times on short-covering, traders said.

As of 12:46 p.m. CST (1846 GMT), CBOT March soybean futures
were down 13 cents at $11.90-1/4 per bushel. The contract
was hovering near Tuesday’s low of $11.87-3/4, the lowest on a
continuous chart of the most-active soybean contract since
November 2021.

CBOT March corn was down 3-3/4 cents at $4.43-1/2 per
bushel while March wheat was down 1/2 cent at $6.01 a
bushel.

Soybeans faced additional pressure from poor export demand.
U.S. soybean export sales in the week to Jan. 25 totalled just
165,800 metric tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
said on Thursday, the smallest weekly tally since May.

Traders shrugged off concerns about stressful hot and dry
weather in Argentina, a major corn supplier and the world’s top
exporter of soymeal and soyoil. The Buenos Aires grains exchange
said that the high temperatures and lack of rain had led to a
deterioration in water conditions, with water stress in some
areas. However, it said around 90% of areas were still
“normal/excellent.”

CBOT wheat drew support from higher K.C. hard red winter
wheat futures, which firmed despite improvements in soil
moisture in much of the U.S. Plains and Midwest. In a weekly
drought update released Thursday, the USDA said only 17% of the
U.S. winter wheat crop was located in a drought area as of Jan.
30, down from 22% the previous week and down from 58% a year
ago.

Meanwhile, world cereal production in 2023 is expected to
reach a record high, the United Nations food agency said as it
reported that its food price index fell to its lowest in almost
three years in January.
(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; additional reporting by Gus
Trompiz in Paris and Peter Hobson in Canberra; Editing by
Kirsten Donovan)



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