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Soybeans end lower on SA weather

12/23/2013 @ 9:14am

Soybean futures fell for the first time in three sessions after meteorologists said rain in South America next week would boost crop prospects. Wheat also declined, while corn rose to a five-week high.

Hot and dry weather that has sapped soil moisture and curbed crop prospects in some South American growing regions will give way to showers, forecaster MDA Weather Services said in a report on Monday.

"Some of the weather models showed improvements in Brazil, which was bearish for beans," said Craig Turner, a senior broker at Daniels Trading in Chicago. "The market is now going to start focusing on South American exports and not U.S., so that was bearish for the front months in soybeans."

Soybean futures for January delivery fell 10 1/2 cents, or 0.8%, to $13.28 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Corn rose to the highest price in five weeks on speculation that investors will bet on a price gain after Jan. 1. Demand for U.S. grain may increase after the price fell nearly 40% this year.

"The market is also looking forward to the fund rebalancing after the first of the year where corn, which has been the worst performing commodity of 2013, is expected to have buying interest," Doug Bergman, the vice president of agricultural derivatives at RCM Asset Management in Chicago, said in a report on Monday.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 1 cent, or 0.2%, to $4.34 1/4 a bushel in Chicago, the highest closing price for a front-month contract since Nov. 11.

Wheat prices fell as favorable weather in the U.S. southern Great Plains boosts prospects for crops that are now dormant for the winter, and on slack demand from overseas buyers.

Damaging cold weather has so far stayed north of the U.S. southern Great Plains, where the winter wheat crop planted in October and November lies dormant until the spring, according to forecaster DTN. The crop is "well-established," but bears watching, DTN said in a report on Monday. Snow that fell earlier this month has formed a protective layer over some of the crop, analysts said.

Egypt, the world's biggest importer of wheat, last week bought supplies from Romania and Russia, again shunning U.S. inventories.

Wheat futures dropped 4 cents, or 0.7%, to $6.09 1/2 a bushel on the CBOT.

Write to Tony C. Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 23, 2013 14:59 ET (19:59 GMT)

DJ Soybeans Fall as Rain in South America Boosts Crops -- Update->copyright

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