FOB Gulf Grain-Soybean offers firm on rising demand, corn higher

CHICAGO, July 16 (Reuters) – U.S. FOB Gulf soybean basis offers were steady to higher on Wednesday on good demand for new-crop supplies and tight autumn export capacity, while corn premiums were firm and wheat offers were steady, traders said.

* Tight loading capacity for post-harvest shipment from the Gulf underpinned new-crop soy and corn basis values. October capacity was nearly sold out and November capacity is about three-quarters sold out due to heavy forward sales of soybeans and soy products, much of it to European buyers, traders said.

* Soybean premiums were also supported by solid demand from top importer China, which has been booking autumn shipments from the United States this week following a recent steep drop in futures prices.

* Firm nearby Brazilian soybean FOB basis offers due to slowing farmer sales also underpinned U.S. soy basis values, with August offers around 190 cents over futures, traders said.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday confirmed private sales of 120,000 tonnes of old-crop U.S. soybeans to China and 240,000 tonnes of new-crop soy to unknown destinations. Traders said the old-crop sale was a switch from Brazil.

* Corn export demand was routine as some importers were avoiding booking large sales as prices have been dropping due to an expected bumper U.S. crop. Many importers were well-covered for their immediate needs.

* USDA confirmed private sales of 210,448 tonnes of new-crop corn to unknown destinations.

* The EU set import tariffs on non-quota corn after international prices fell below its floor price, which is based on the cost of grain shipped from the U.S. Gulf to Rotterdam. Tariffs have not been applied on corn since August 2010.

* USDA will release weekly export sales data early on Thursday. Old-crop corn sales were expected to be down from the previous week, while new-crop corn and soybean sales were seen steady to higher. (Reporting by Karl Plume; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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