Corn, Soybeans, Wheat Drop About 2% As Global Markets Recoil
Chicago corn and soybean futures slid 2% on Monday, both extending losses into a third session, as concerns over the economic fallout from the fast-spreading coronavirus dragged down equities and commodities.
Wheat fell for a second session to hit its lowest in almost 4 months.
"We have been worried that falling oil prices had prompted a more general exit from commodities," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Oil Price Decline
A sharp decline in oil prices is adding to concerns about demand for some of the agriculture products such as corn and soybean oil which are used in making renewable fuels.
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 2% to $3.68-1/2 a bushel by 0337 GMT, soybeans lost 2.1% to $8.73 a bushel and wheat gave up 1.8% to $5.06-3/4 a bushel.
Earlier in the session, wheat dropped to its weakest since mid-November at $5.05-3/4 a bushel, while soybeans hit their lowest since Feb. 24 at $8.71 a bushel.
Global share markets tumbled as panicked investors fled to bonds to hedge the economic shock of the coronavirus, and oil plunged more than 20% after Saudi Arabia slashed its official selling price.
The number of people infected with coronavirus topped 107,000 across the world as the outbreak reached more countries and caused more economic damage.
China's soybean imports in the first two months of 2020 jumped 14.2% year-on-year, official data showed on Saturday, as cargoes from the United States booked during a trade truce at the end of 2019 cleared customs.
China, the world's top market for soybeans, brought in 13.51 million tonnes of the oilseed in January and February, up from 11.83 million tonnes a year earlier, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
Soy exports from Brazil, which had significant delays in February due to intense rains in coastal cities, are expected to gather pace in southern ports as the weather turns drier in the coming days, according to shipping data and climate forecasts.
Ukraine's grain exports have risen about 24% to 41.7 million tonnes so far in the July 2019 to June 2020 season, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said on Friday.
Wheat exports increased to 16.7 million tonnes, the ministry said, adding that Ukraine exported about 4 million tonnes of barley and 20.4 million tonnes of corn.
Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to March 3, regulatory data released on Friday showed.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, switched to a net short position in CBOT wheat and trimmed their net short position in soybeans.