* Corn eases from 7-1/2-year high, lower production limits
* Wheat falls for 2nd session, soybeans little changed
* China's 2020 soybean imports soar 13% to record high
SINGAPORE, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures lost
ground on Thursday as the market took a breather after hitting a
7-1/2-year peak in the previous session, although losses were
limited by tight global supplies.
Soybeans edged higher, while wheat slid for a second
"The USDA's (U.S. Department of Agriculture) cut to corn
crop yield estimates in Tuesday's report is still ringing in
market ears," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural
strategy at the Commonwealth bank of Australia.
"Lower U.S. yields, along with creeping cuts to South
American crops forecasts (by the USDA and others) is moving the
global feed balance into tighter territory."
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of
Trade (CBOT) was down 0.2% at $5.23-1/4 a bushel, as of 0256
GMT, after climbing to its highest since mid-2013 at $5.41-1/2 a
bushel on Wednesday.
Soybeans added 0.1% to $14.07-1/2 a bushel, while
wheat lost 0.9% to $6.54-3/4 a bushel.
The USDA revised downwards its estimate of 2020/21 U.S. corn
production to below trade expectations and lowered its outlook
for ending stocks.
The agency pegged the 2020 U.S. corn harvest at 14.182
billion bushels based on an average yield of 172.0 bushels per
acre and soybean production at 4.135 billion bushels on a yield
of 50.2 bushels. All were below average trade expectations,
particularly in the case of corn.
The soybean market is being underpinned by strong demand,
led by top buyer China.
China's soybean imports hit a record high in 2020, customs
data showed on Thursday, after crushers ramped up purchases amid
improved margins and healthy demand from the country's rapidly
recovering pig sector.
China bought 100.33 million tonnes of the oilseed in 2020,
up 13% from 88.51 million tonnes in 2019, according to the
General Administration of Customs, the highest annual imports on
The USDA announced on Wednesday morning that private
exporters reported the sale of 464,300 tonnes of soybeans to
unknown destinations, the biggest daily soybean sale since June.
Argentine farmers called off a three-day-old sales strike on
Wednesday, hours before it had been scheduled to end, after the
government agreed to free corn export from a recently decreed
limit of 30,000 tonnes a day.
The export cap that had been imposed at the start of the
week was criticised by growers who said it would weigh on
production. Argentina, the world's No. 3 corn exporter, is also
the top international supplier of soymeal livestock feed.
The U.S. soybean crush likely rose in December to the
second-highest level on record for any month, capping the
busiest year of processing ever for the industry, according to
analysts polled ahead of a National Oilseed Processors
Association report due on Friday.
Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, wheat,
soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said.
They were net buyers of CBOT corn.
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and