FOB Gulf Grain-Soybeans firm as barge market soars

CHICAGO, Aug 22 (Reuters) – U.S. FOB Gulf soybean basis offers held strong at high levels late on Friday driven by a soaring U.S. CIF barge market as processors scramble to cover needs at the end of the crop year and ahead of harvest, traders said.

* FOB Gulf corn and wheat offers were also steady as futures rose.

* September soybeans at the Gulf were quoted at 245 cents over CBOT November futures. October offers were also unchanged at 180 cents over November futures and November was steady 165 cents over November futures. CBOT November ended 3-3/4 cents up at $10.42 a bushel.

* U.S. exporters pricing remains constrained by stiff competition from abundant new-crop supplies in Brazil. But exporter profits are being squeezed by competition from processors who have been bidding up for soybean barges to keep plants open amid dwindling old-stocks and slow farmer sales, traders said.

* August soybean barges at the Gulf were offered 40 cents higher late Friday at 365 cents over November futures in a seller’s market, traders said.

* Cash soybean bids at Decatur, Illinois, were up 15 cents to 325 cents over November futures on Friday afternoon.

* USDA reported early Friday that China bought another 120,000 tonnes of new-crop soybeans, underscoring the firm cash tone.

* FOB Gulf corn for August/September loadings held at 130 cents over CBOT September futures. O/N/D offers were also steady at 131 cents over December futures. CBOT September corn closed 3-1/4 up at $3.65-1/2.

* Gulf wheat offers were steady to weaker amid soft overseas interest in U.S. wheat due to high prices, traders said.

* HRW basis offers for August were thinly quoted at 140 cents over KCBT September futures. September offers were down 5 cents to 150 cents over September futures and O/N/D held at 175 cents over KCBT December futures. KCBT September ended 11-1/2 cents up at $6.33-1/2.

* SRW wheat offers were steady but the market had a soft tone, traders said. FOB Gulf SRW August/September offers held at 130 cents over CBOT September. October was quoted 145 cents over and November/December at 168 cents over December futures – all unchanged. CBOT September wheat ended 5-3/4 higher at $5.52.

* The Pro Farmer crop tour wrapped up on Friday, which pointed to record-large corn and soybean harvests. (Reporting by Christine Stebbins; Editing by Diane Craft)

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