By Kirk Maltais
--Corn for March delivery fell 1.7% to $3.87 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, with fund investors and farmers selling corn to take advantage of a two-month high reached Thursday.
--Wheat for March delivery lost 1.2% to $5.73 1/2 a bushel.
--Soybeans for March delivery fell 0.8% to $9.02 a bushel.
Finding Balance: Liquidation of corn positions drove prices lower, with both large managed money and farmers selling, said Dave Marshall of First Choice Commodities. "This week appears to be a week of normalization," Mr. Marshall said. "I'd be heavily surprised if we're not seeing some farmer selling -- that's probably what got us started overnight."
For Traders, Unhappy New Year: One day after the U.S. and China signed its phase one trade deal, there were no large purchases of American grains by Beijing, according to Friday's export sales report. The Lunar New Year holiday, which starts Saturday, is also likely to keep purchases thin. "Traders are giving up on the prospect that China will make new U.S. ag purchases for at least the next week as [Southeast] Asia celebrates their biggest holiday of the year," AgResource said.
Coronavirus Chaos: China locked down cities and reported more confirmed cases of and deaths from the coronavirus, the spread of which has the potential to crimp global grains production and demand. Agricultural conglomerate Cargill recommended its employees defer or cancel business travel to Wuhan, the Chinese city pegged as the epicenter of a new virus strain, which has killed 26 people in China and has spread to other nations, including the U.S.
Ta-Ta, Tariffs: Chinese buying of grains and oilseeds is likely to reach only 50% to 60% of the purchase target set for 2020 and 2021 in the U.S.-China trade pact, said Lief Chiang, grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabobank. "This means China will have to buy large quantities of non-grains and oilseed agricultural products, such as meat, seafood, dairy and cotton to make up the difference." To facilitate the high procurement, most of the existing retaliatory tariffs are expected to be removed soon, Mr. Chiang said.
--The USDA releases its weekly grain export inspections data at 11 a.m. ET Monday.
--The EIA releases its weekly update on ethanol production and inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.
--Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ) reports fourth-quarter results at 4:05 p.m. ET Wednesday.
--Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) reports fourth-quarter results after the market closes on Wednesday.
(Jacob Bunge and Lucy Craymer contributed to this article.)
Write to Kirk Maltais at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 24, 2020 16:06 ET (21:06 GMT)
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