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GRAINS-Market pauses after short-covering as weather, trade news watched

* Wheat ticks down, up 2.6 pct this week after short-covering * Corn also up over week amid U.S. planting weather risks * Soybean market assesses U.S.-China trade deal prospects * GRAPHIC: Commodity prices in 2019: https://tmsnrt.rs/2Tku3Tn (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, March 15 (Reuters) - Chicago grain futures were little changed on Friday, pausing after a short-covering flurry that helped wheat rebound from one-year lows, as traders awaited more clues about U.S. crop weather and trade talks with China. Wheat inched down but was set for its biggest weekly gain in more than three months, having recovered from Monday's 13-month low. Ample world supplies and tepid U.S. exports capped the market, however. Corn was flat on Friday but also set to notch up a weekly gain amid concerns that damp, cold weather may hamper spring planting in the U.S. Midwest. Soybeans edged higher and were also marginally higher over the week as the oilseed market continued to grapple with varying indications of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations. "Many of the headlines remain familiar with ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China, flooding concerns for the coming U.S. planting season, and increased harvest estimates around the world," brokers Allendale said in a note. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was down 0.4 percent at $4.50-3/4 a bushel by the end of the overnight session. Over the week, wheat was 2.6 percent higher, on course for its biggest weekly rally since early December. CBOT corn inched down 0.1 percent to $3.70 a bushel while soybeans had ticked up 0.1 percent to $8.99. Traders have large short positions in wheat, making the market prone to sporadic rallies. However, weekly U.S. wheat export sales reported on Thursday by the U.S. Agriculture Department came in below forecasts at 346,000 tonnes, underscoring a sluggish pace this season. Corn export sales of 846,600 tonnes came in at the low end of trade estimates, but worries about planting delays were underpinning prices. Field work could remain limited in the U.S. Delta and western Midwest in the coming two weeks due to further rainfall, while planting progress in the eastern Midwest was expected to be slow, the Commodity Weather Group said. But traders said short-covering was more precautionary as the planting season gets underway. "There is still time for corn planting, it is bit early to get too worried," said a trader at an international trading company in Singapore. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States was doing very well in trade talks with China, but that he could not say whether a final deal would be reached. Weekly U.S. soybean exports of 1.915 million tonnes were near the top end of expectations, after large sales to China in recent days as part of the negotiating truce with Washington. Prices at 1252 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2018 Move CBOT wheat 450.75 -2.00 -0.44 503.25 -10.43 CBOT corn 370.00 -0.25 -0.07 375.00 -1.33 CBOT soy 899.00 0.50 0.06 895.00 0.45 Paris wheat May 188.00 0.25 0.13 205.00 -8.29 Paris maize Jun 170.75 -0.25 -0.15 184.50 -7.45 Paris rape May 356.75 0.00 0.00 365.25 -2.33 WTI crude oil 58.24 -0.37 -0.63 45.41 28.25 Euro/dlr 1.13 0.00 0.03 1.1469 -1.43 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and David Evans)

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