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FOB Gulf Grain-Offers unchanged in light pre-holiday trade

Dec 24 (Reuters) - Export premiums for corn, soybeans and
wheat at the U.S. Gulf Coast were mostly steady on Tuesday in
light trading ahead of the Christmas holiday on Wednesday when
U.S. grain markets will be closed, traders said.
    * Nearby Gulf basis offers were scarce for all three
commodities as capacity to load ocean-going vessels was
effectively sold out through January. Some exporters may offer a
spot shipment if there is demand, but the price would be at a
large premium to shipments in February and beyond.
    * U.S. corn demand was light to moderate as some Asian
buyers have delayed making near term purchases in hopes of booking cargoes turned away by China for an unapproved GMO grain. * South Korean buyers have taken a further 120,000 tonnes of U.S. corn in deals related to a trade disruption caused by China's rejection of U.S. corn. * U.S. soybean export demand was fading seasonally as South American supplies will be available from February. However, U.S. suppliers continue to capture some sales due to often-lengthy delays at South American ports. Brazilian port capacity was largely sold out already for February and March, traders said. * The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday confirmed private sales of 185,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations and 114,000 tonnes to Egypt. * Trade sources could not confirm that China has canceled any of its U.S. soybean purchases yet. * U.S. wheat premiums were anchored by abundant global supplies of the grain. * Most global demand for soft wheat was for near term shipment and U.S. soft red winter wheat offers were thin through January due to a lack of available loading capacity. SRW prices for spring shipments were among the lowest on the world market.
Benchmark SRW wheat futures fell to a 19-month low on Friday. * U.S. markets will be closed on Wednesday for the Christmas holiday. Chicago Board of Trade futures will resume trading at 8:30 a.m. CST (1430 GMT) on Thursday. * Weekly USDA export sales data will be released on Friday morning, delayed by a day due to the holiday. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)

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