FOB Gulf Grain-Corn, soybeans steady-firm hold as futures slip

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Corn and soybean export premiums at the
U.S. Gulf Coast were mostly steady to firm on Friday amid weaker
futures and limited available capacity to load export shipments
through the end of 2013, traders said.
    * Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell
2.5 percent on softening cash markets and good South American
crop weather. Corn slipped as the U.S. government proposed
easing ethanol blend requirements. 
    * FOB basis offers were unquoted for November and much of
December after heavy forward sales earlier this year for those
shipping periods. However, November and December loadings would be available at a hefty premium if a buyer was willing to pay, traders said. * U.S. corn prices were competitive on the world market for early 2014 shipments and traditional buyers have been booking their routine purchases to lock in some of the lowest prices in three years. * China will continue buying buy soybeans and corn for state reserves from farmers this year, a move that is expected to keep domestic prices higher than the global market, triggering more imports. * Record-large purchases of U.S. soybeans by China are on the books. Good growing weather in South America raised the risk that a larger-than-normal share of outstanding sales could be switched to Brazil or Argentina origin beans, traders said. * U.S. wheat export premiums at the Gulf Coast held steady in quiet trade. * European wheat prices were undercutting U.S. wheat into key markets in the Middle East and North Africa, but U.S. prices have grown increasingly competitive in recent weeks. * Benchmark CBOT soft red winter wheat futures fell for a two-month low on Friday and posted its fourth straight weekly decline. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago, editing by G Crosse)

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