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GRAINS-U.S. soybeans, corn rise as harvest slows; wheat weak

(Updates with closing prices; adds details)
By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose 1.1
percent on Thursday to their highest level in nearly a week,
supported by reports of some disappointing yields in key Midwest
production areas and technical buying, traders said.
Concerns about rains slowing down the U.S. harvest, which
was already behind the typical pace, added strength to soybeans.
The weather outlook also underpinned corn, but gains were kept
in check by weakness in the wheat market.
"You have got some rain so we are probably going to be
limited on harvest pressure in the short term," said Mark
Schultz, chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co.
Wheat futures were trading in negative territory after
failing to break through technical resistance early in the
session.
Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures
settled up 10 cents at $9.68-1/4 a bushel. Soybeans hit their
highest level since Sept. 29 during the session.
Soybeans also felt some spillover strength from a
2.1-percent rally in the soymeal market. The slowdowns in
harvest were leading to tight supplies available for crushers in
southern areas of the U.S. Midwest, traders said.
"The U.S. soybean harvest is being delayed as rains seem to
be an issue," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at
National Australia Bank.
Soybeans firmed in overnight trading, and gains accelerated
during the daytime session after the November contract broke
through its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The contract
settled above those key technical points.
CBOT December corn ended up 1-1/4 cents at $3.49-1/2 a
bushel.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said weekly export sales of
corn totaled 814,100 tonnes, topping market forecasts that
ranged from 500,000 to 700,000 tonnes. Export sales of soybeans
and wheat were in line with trade estimates.

CBOT December soft red winter wheat was down 1-1/4
cents at $4.40-3/4 a bushel, hitting its lowest level since
Sept. 19.
Wheat prices remained capped by export competition created
by a record Russian harvest this year. Analysts said that U.S.
offerings were still too expensive for overseas buyers despite
the recent futures weakness.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus
Trompiz in Paris; Editing by James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler)

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