GRAINS-Soybeans drop for 6th session as coronavirus fears stoke demand concerns

* Soybeans near lowest since mid-Dec on China-linked virus fears * Wheat firms on tightening world supplies, strong demand (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Chicago soybean futures slid for a sixth consecutive session on Tuesday with the market trading near its weakest since mid-December on fears that a virus outbreak in China will curb demand. Wheat gained ground with tightening supplies and strong demand supporting prices. Asian stocks extended a global selloff on Tuesday as China took more drastic steps to combat the coronavirus, while bonds found favour on expectations central banks would need to keep stimulus flowing to offset the likely economic drag. “This flu is clearly spreading beyond China’s borders as cases in many countries come to light,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “At present, the likely outcome is another dent to China’s economy and their biggest suppliers.” The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade lost 0.4% to $8.94 a bushel by 0314 GMT, having dropped to a Dec. 12 low of $8.88-1/4 a bushel on Monday. Wheat added 0.1% to $5.73 a bushel and corn gained 0.2% to $3.81-1/4 a bushel. The U.S. wheat market is being underpinned by tightening world supplies and firm demand. Ukraine grain exports in the 2019-20 July-June season were up about 29% year-on-year at 35 million tonnes as of Jan. 27, helped by higher wheat and corn exports, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said on Monday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday that export inspections of wheat fell to 223,994 tonnes in the week ended Jan. 23 from 516,309 tonnes a week earlier. The weekly total was well below analysts’ forecasts that ranged from 400,000 tonnes to 600,000 tonnes. Soybean export inspections were down to 1.039 million tonnes from 1.206 million tonnes, but in line with expectations. Export inspections of corn rose to 668,559 tonnes from 396,613 tonnes and also matched a range of market forecasts. Brazilian farmers have harvested 4.2% of their planted area through Jan. 23, less than the 13% seen in the same year-earlier period due to planting delays, AgRural said in a statement on Monday. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybeans, wheat, soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Monday, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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