FOB Gulf Grain-Soy offers steady-weak amid South America harvest

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Soybean export premiums at the U.S. Gulf
Coast were mostly steady to weak on Tuesday amid an accelerating
South American harvest and reports that China switched some of
its U.S. purchases to Brazil, traders said.
    * Nearby CIF soybean basis values slumped on Tuesday as at
least one major exporter sold spot supplies. After spiking to a
$1.35 per bushel premium over futures last week, spot barges
traded as low as $1.22 over on Tuesday, traders said.
    * The lower nearby barge basis came amid widespread trade
talk that 3 cargoes of U.S. soybeans sold to China for February
shipment were switched to Brazilian-origin beans. * Brazil is expected to harvest a record-large soybean crop this season and early yield reports have been revealing larger than expected yields, trade sources said. Port congestion was also expected to be less than last year as Brazil's corn export program is much smaller in the first quarter of 2014. * A nearly 3 percent plunge in U.S. soybean futures on Tuesday could attract more Chinese demand for March shipments from the United States, although no fresh sales could be confirmed, a trader said. * Corn export premiums at the Gulf were mostly steady to firm, supported by good demand for spring shipments following recent steep price declines. * FOB basis offers for April and May shipments from the Gulf have risen by 6 to 7 cents a bushel since the middle of last week as short-bought importers, including some in Japan and South Korea, booked purchases. * U.S. corn prices for March shipment and beyond were at a discount to exports from Ukraine, a low-cost supplier that typically undercuts U.S. demand. * U.S. wheat export premiums were steady, underpinned by tight spot supplies at the Gulf and moderate demand following recent price declines, traders said. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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