Band Tom Polansek
CHICAGO, August 31 (Reuters) – U.S. grain and soybean futures hit their lowest prices in weeks on Tuesday, as power outages and damage to export facilities from Hurricane Ida fueled concerns regarding the potential for prolonged disruption to shipments, analysts said.
Uncertainty over the length of plant closures on the Gulf Coast, which accounts for about 60% of U.S. exports, has rocked markets at a time when global grain supplies are tight and Chinese demand strong.
Archer-Daniels-Midland grain trader ADM.N does not see significant structural damage to the elevators and port operations it closed in New Orleans, but electricity remains off in the area, according to a statement.
Elsewhere in Louisiana, Ida damaged a Cargill Inc CARG.UL grain export silo while CHS Inc CHSCP.O warned that a facility could run out of power for weeks.
“There are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the Gulf,” said Jim Gerlach, president of A / C Trading brokerage. “No one knows if this is something that will last for days, weeks or months.”
Most Active Soybean Futures Sv1 fell 10-3 / 4 cents to 12.92-1 / 2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade and hit its lowest price since August 20.
But CV1 slipped 8-1 / 2 cents to $ 5.34-1 / 4 a bushel and set its lowest price since July 12. Corn Wv1 slipped 1-1 / 4 cents to $ 7.22-1 / 4 a bushel and hit its lowest price since August 2.
Crop shipments are rerouted from the Gulf of Mexico where possible in the aftermath of the hurricane, said Arlan Suderman, chief raw materials economist for broker StoneX. However, there is “no actual inventory at other facilities to ship before this year’s harvest,” he said.
Suderman has yet to predict any “significant loss of export demand as a result of the current shutdown.”
Supplies of corn and soybeans to the United States are expected to increase as farmers begin harvesting in the coming weeks.
“Better weather conditions will help complete the soybean harvest,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage.
In other stocks, traders adjusted their positions on the last day of the month, brokers said.
Hurricane Ida damages Louisiana grain terminal, disrupts exports
(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille from La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis)
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