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Grains, soy mixed before report

10/09/2012 @ 2:56pm

U.S. grain and soy futures ended flat to slightly higher in quiet trading Tuesday, as market participants positioned themselves ahead of government crop reports due Thursday.

Wheat futures posted the strongest finish, boosted by expectations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to tighten its world supply forecasts for the grain.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures for December delivery settled up 3 1/4 cents, or 0.4%, at $8.64 1/4 a bushel. Kansas City Board of Trade December wheat rose 6 cents, or 0.7%, to $8.88 3/4 a bushel. MGEX December wheat rose 3 1/2 cents, or 0.4%, to $9.28 a bushel.

Wheat futures rose because traders expect the USDA to cut its forecasts for world wheat production and inventories, traders said.

Expected cuts include for Australian wheat production due to dry weather, and likely for the country's wheat exports, said Mike O'Dea, a risk-management consultant at brokerage INTL FCStone.

Mr. O'Dea expects the USDA to forecast world wheat inventories at the end of the 2012-13 marketing year of about 170 million metric tons, down from the agency's forecast last month of 176.71 million tons.

Wheat, along with corn and soybeans, traded higher early on Tuesday but gave up its gains as the session went on. The early boost came from technical trading and outside markets, traders said. But prices later eased on uncertainty and risk aversion ahead of the USDA reports.

Weekly export inspections data from the USDA also weighed on grains. The data was in line with expectations for soybeans but fell below expectations for corn and wheat.

For wheat, the USDA said inspections of the grain for export in the week through Oct. 4 were 13.2 million bushels. Analysts had expected inspections of 24 million to 28 million bushels.

Corn also traded higher early in the day because some traders expect the USDA's domestic corn supply forecasts to lift futures prices. Some market participants bought futures to exit bets on lower prices, reducing risk ahead of the USDA reports. But corn's gains later dried up along with the short-covering.

CBOT December corn futures settled flat at $7.42 a bushel.

Soybeans benefited early in the day from technical buying and concerns that demand for the oilseeds has remained strong despite tight supplies. But as for wheat, the gains in soybeans later collapsed on risk aversion ahead of the USDA reports.

November soybean futures fell 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $15.50 a bushel.

Write to Owen Fletcher at owen.fletcher@dowjones.com

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 09, 2012 15:39 ET (19:39 GMT)

DJ U.S. GRAIN AND SOY REVIEW: Futures End Mixed In Pre-USDA Trade->copyright
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