U.S. wheat futures hit lowest price since February; corn down, soy up



(Updates with closing U.S. prices, USDA weekly crop progress figures)

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, June 27 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell to their lowest price since February on Monday, pressured by the expanding harvest of winter wheat in the Northern Hemisphere and a lack of demand for U.S. supplies, traders said.

Corn futures also fell, led by deferred contracts representing the 2022 harvest. But soybeans rose as soyoil and soymeal futures climbed.

Chicago Board of Trade July wheat WN2 settled down 19-3/4 cents on Monday at $9.04 per bushel after dipping to $9.00-1/2, the contract's lowest level since Feb. 28.

"Wheat has no friends right now. We are at harvest time and that is weighing on the market... And the demand is just really bad, especially for the export side," said Jack Scoville, analyst with the Price Futures Group in Chicago.

After the CBOT close, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the U.S. winter wheat harvest was 41% complete, topping trade expectations and ahead of the five-year average of 35%.

Corn futures sagged on better-than-expected weekend rains in portions of the Midwest that should bolster production prospects, as well as trade expectations for the USDA to raise its estimate of U.S. corn plantings in a June 30 acreage report.

"Weather conditions have eased a little," said Wang Xiaoyang, senior analyst with Sinolink Futures. "Expectation of drought has weakened," Wang added.

CBOT July corn CN2 ended down 6 cents at $7.44-1/4 a bushel while new-crop December CZ2 fell 21 cents to $6.53.

However, the USDA late Monday rated 67% of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition, a larger-than-expected decline from 70% the previous week. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected a 1-point decline.

Soybean ratings also fell, with 65% of the crop in good to excellent condition, the USDA said, down from 68% previously. Analysts on average had expected no change.

CBOT July soybeans SN2 settled up 19-3/4 cents at $16.30-1/2 a bushel, buoyed by firm cash markets amid dwindling supplies of old-crop soybeans. Support also stemmed from strength in soymeal SMN2 and soyoil BON2 futures as well as crude oil CLc1 , which sometimes influences the soy complex due to soyoil's role as a feedstock for biodiesel fuel.

Analysts expect the USDA in its acreage report on Thursday to show a decrease in U.S. plantings of both soybeans and spring wheat compared to its March forecasts.
Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; additional reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton in Beijing; editing by Paul Simao and Chris Reese


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