Abstract：Soybeans slid on concerns over demand from top importer China, which is facing rising number of COVID-19 cases.
* U.S. winter crop ratings at lowest since at least 1986
* Soybeans ease down on COVID concerns
* Corn slips on wheat pressure, lack of fresh news
Soybeans slid on concerns over demand from top importer China, which is facing rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Additionally, the most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) slid 0.2% to $8.16-1/2 a bushel, as of 0429 GMT. Soybeans lost 0.1% to $14.36 a bushel and corn gained 0.1% at $6.64 a bushel, amid growing concern over a possible U.S. rail strike and speculation in markets of European Union wheat being booked in the United States, traders said.
French wheat sales to China and the prospect of Polish or German wheat being booked in the United States are creating an unexpected wave of demand for EU supplies after exports had been curbed by Russian competition in recent weeks, traders said.
Early in the session, U.S. wheat futures had traded higher at times as dry weather threatened U.S. winter crop areas.
According to one trader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said wheat prices turned downward after traders noted talk of a U.S. mill in Florida importing European wheat.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday rated 32% of the U.S. winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week - the lowest for this time of the year in USDA records dating to 1986.
Some processors and mills are beginning to prepare for a potential rail traffic stoppage after workers at the largest U.S. rail union voted this week against a tentative contract deal reached in September, said Dan Basse, president of consultancy AgResource in Chicago.
“It's all I'm hearing about, that people are planning ahead,” Basse said.
Traders also worried about a potential year-end US rail strike, after workers at the largest rail union voted against a tentative contract deal reached in September. And Corn futures saw pressure from wheat and a lack of fresh news. Meanwhile, market concerns that rising COVID-19 cases in China could dent the country's commodity demand also weighed on soybean futures, as Beijing warned it was facing its most severe test of the pandemic.
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