Corn prices ease for third day on weak demand, ample supply

SINGAPORE: Chicago corn futures slid for a third session on Wednesday, with plentiful supply and slow demand for US shipments weighing on the market.
Soybeans also ticked lower, although expectations of lower production in Brazil and strong demand for cargoes from the United States put a floor under prices.
"Slowing US corn exports is a strong factor for price direction," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. "And how do you get a rally going when you have such a large supply?"
The Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract gave up 0.3 percent to $3.48-1/4 a bushel by 0256 GMT, wheat slid 0.2 percent to $4.34-1/2 a bushel and soybeans lost 0.1 percent to $9.65-1/4 a bushel.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported export inspections of corn and wheat in the latest week at below expectations, reflecting sluggish overseas demand for both grains.
Inspections for US soybeans, though, were at more than 1.4 million tonnes, topping a range of trade estimates.
The US soybean harvest was 36 percent complete, behind a five-year average of 43 percent and an average of trade expectations for 38 percent, the farm department said after the market closed on Tuesday.
A decline in production in Brazil is also underpinning soybean prices. Brazilian statistics agency Conab forecast the country's 2017-18 soybean crop at between 106 million and 108.2 million tonnes, down from the 2016-17 crop of 114 million tonnes.
The US corn harvest was 22 percent complete, compared with a five-year average of 37 percent and an average trade estimate of 27 percent. In Iowa, the top US corn producer, the corn harvest was 8 percent done, lagging the state's five-year average of 28 percent.
The US wheat market, meanwhile, is being pressured by stiff competition from the Black Sea region. Egypt's state buyer said it bought 170,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a purchasing tender where no US wheat was offered.
The USDA is scheduled to release its October supply-demand reports, including updated estimates of US and global crop production on Thursday.
Commodity funds were net sellers of Chicago Board of Trade soybean, corn, soyoil and wheat futures contracts on Tuesday and net even in soymeal, traders said.