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GRAINS-Soybeans end 2017 down 4 pct as global stockpiles increase

GRAINS-Soybeans end 2017 down 4 pct as global stockpiles increase

Reuters Staff
4 Min Read

* Wheat up nearly 5 pct in 2017, halting four-year skid
* Corn ends year nearly unchanged; ample supplies persist

(Recasts; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes
dateline from previous SINGAPORE/PARIS)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures firmed
on Friday as rising crude oil futures helped lift soyoil, but
soybeans still recorded a yearly loss of about 4 percent,
reflecting big 2017 harvests in South America and the United
Wheat drifted lower on Friday but posted its first yearly
gain since 2012, while corn ended the year nearly unchanged.
Soybeans firmed Friday as soyoil followed crude oil
futures higher on strong global demand. Soyoil
sometimes tracks crude oil due to its use as a feedstock for
soy-based biodiesel fuel.
Chicago Board of Trade front-month soybeans climbed 6
cents to settle Friday at $9.51-3/4 a bushel, compared with the
closing 2016 spot futures price of $9.96-1/2.
"The biggest disappointment for hedge fund managers may be
the soybean complex," INTL FCStone chief commodities economist
Arlan Suderman said in a client note, given improving weather
conditions in South America for the harvest early next year.
"The thinking is that above-trend yields in Brazil ... could
offset losses in Argentina," Suderman said.
The market is still digesting a record U.S. 2017 soy
harvest, at a time when China, the world's biggest buyer, is
tightening its soy import rules.
CBOT wheat slipped lower Friday in quiet pre-holiday trade
but posted a yearly gain of nearly 5 percent, snapping a
four-year skid. The spot contract ended at $4.27 a bushel,
up from $4.08 at the end of 2016.
Concerns about supplies of high quality wheat and reduced
planting in the United States have provided a floor to the wheat
market in 2017.
Australia, a key wheat supplier to Asia, is expected to
produce its lowest crop in 10 years after dry weather during the
growing period and rains ahead of the harvest.
Still, some observers noted that the benchmark wheat
contract had fallen in the past quarter and that there was no
indication of a reverse in trend, despite concerns over U.S.
crops due to cold weather in the Plains.
"Regardless of the rebound seen from mid-December, wheat
prices in Chicago cannot get out from the bearish trend in place
for several months. Very low temperatures in the U.S. Plains
could have little impact on dormant crops protected by a
sufficient snow layer, even if some areas must be monitored,"
French consultancy Agritel said.
CBOT front-month corn closed out 2017 at $3.50-3/4 per
bushel, barely changed from its year-ago close of $3.52 as
plentiful U.S. and global feedgrain stocks hung over the market.
"Corn will continue to face stiff competition from wheat
until supplies tighten, but the long-term outlook appears to be
brightening due to a strong emerging demand base within China,"
Suderman said.
U.S. markets will be closed Monday for the New Year's Day
holiday. Trade in CBOT grains will resume Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
CST (1430 GMT).

CBOT settlement prices:
Net Pct Volume
Last change change
CBOT wheat WH8 427.00 -0.75 -0.2 33015
CBOT corn CH8 350.75 -1.25 -0.4 82605
CBOT soybeans SH8 961.75 5.00 0.5 70262
CBOT soymeal SMH8 316.80 0.70 0.2 35557
CBOT soyoil BOH8 33.26 0.55 1.7 53489
NOTE: CBOT March wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per
bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and
Sybille de La Hamaide in PAris; editing by David Evans and Grant