FOB Gulf Grain-Soy premiums level as South America harvest nears

Jan 6 (Reuters) - Soybean export premiums at the U.S. Gulf
Coast were steady on Monday, underpinned by tight nearby loading
capacity and firm CIF barge basis values but capped by
expectations for a large South American harvest, traders said.
    * Export loading capacity at Gulf elevators was effectively
sold out through the end of January and early February, which
kept nearby offers for soy, corn and wheat at a premium to
deferred shipments.
    * Top soybean importer China has been focusing on booking
new-crop South American shipments instead of near-term shipments
from the United States. The Brazilian harvest was underway, but significant supplies will not hit the export market until next month, traders said. * U.S. exporters were focusing on loading previously sold shipments ahead of South America's export season. * Soybean export inspections last week totaled 54.446 million bushels, up from 43.738 million the previous week and above trade forecasts for 38 million to 50 million. China was the top destination with 43.897 million bushels inspected. * Corn export premiums were mostly steady amid adequate supplies and moderate demand. * The U.S. Agriculture Department confirmed private sales of 110,600 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico for delivery in the current marketing year. * China's quality watchdog has turned away about 601,000 tonnes of U.S. corn and corn products due to an unapproved GMO strain. Further rejections were likely. * U.S. exporters continue to load corn shipments to China despite the rejection risks. Several rejected cargoes have been resold to China's neighbors. * Export inspections of U.S. corn last week totaled 19,318 million bushels, with 5.471 million bushels of that destined for China, USDA data showed. None of the corn bound for China was from Gulf Coast terminals. * Wheat export premiums at the Gulf were supported by thin
supplies in the export pipeline and costly rail freight to the Texas Gulf. * USDA on Monday confirmed private sales of 128,000 tonnes of hard red winter wheat and 32,000 tonnes of soft red winter wheat to unknown destinations for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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