* Corn gains, wheat falls as traders unwind spreads
* Soy down on long liquidation, product spread unwinding
(Updates with closing prices, fund buying and selling totals)
By Karl Plume
CHICAGO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures jumped more
than 1 percent on Tuesday on bargain buying and short-covering
after prices for the feed grain hit three-year lows this week.
Wheat futures retreated as investors unwound wheat/corn
spreads and as an expected move by India to lower wheat export
prices threatened to blunt demand for U.S. grain on the global
Soybeans dipped despite stronger-than-expected export
shipments last week as traders unwound soymeal/soyoil spreads
and liquidated longs amid an advancing U.S. harvest.
"Most of what I'm seeing today is spread trade. There's a
pretty strong reversal in the wheat/corn spread and I'm
wondering if it's not because India is looking to lower their
(wheat) export price," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global
"The weakness in the meal/oil spread is weighing on soybeans
today even though we had bean export inspections higher than the
average trade guess," he said.
Scattered rains across the Midwest stalled the corn and
soybean harvest in some areas. But an extended period of dry
weather beginning midweek and continuing into at least next week
should allow farmers to resume harvesting a bumper soybean crop
and a likely record-large corn crop.
Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures rose
6-1/2 cents to $4.43-1/2 per bushel after hitting a 37-month low
of $4.32 a day earlier. The day's 1.4 percent gain was the
strongest in a month.
The lowest prices in three years reignited demand from
Chinese buyers who recently booked a large volume of U.S. corn
for import early next year, according to traders.
CBOT December wheat fell 6-3/4 cents, or 0.9 percent,
to $6.85-3/4 a bushel. The steepest decline in 3-1/2 weeks was
the spot contract's fifth drop in six sessions.
The spread between wheat and corn, which ballooned to a
multi-year high of $2.59 last week, narrowed by more than 13
News that India may lower its floor price for wheat exports
by about $40 per tonne to spur sales from its ample stocks added
CBOT November soybeans shed 6 cents, or 0.5 percent,
to $12.67 a bushel, holding just above Monday's 20-month low of
$12.61-3/4 a bushel.
Futures pared earlier losses as the National Oilseed
Processors Association (NOPA) reported September crushings above
analyst forecasts and as export inspections topped forecasts.
NOPA said the U.S. soybean crush fell to a four-year low of
108.68 million bushels in September, down nearly 2 million
bushels from August but more than 2 million bushels above trade
Commodity funds bought an estimated net 8,000 corn contracts
on the day and sold a net 3,000 contracts each of soybeans and
wheat, trade sources said.
Prices at 2:02 p.m. CDT (1901 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 443.50 6.50 1.5% -36.5%
CBOT soy 1267.00 -6.00 -0.5% -10.7%
CBOT meal 423.20 0.00 0.0% 0.6%
CBOT soyoil 40.19 0.00 0.0% -18.2%
CBOT wheat 685.75 -6.75 -1.0% -11.9%
CBOT rice 1548.00 32.50 2.1% 4.2%
EU wheat 199.75 1.00 0.5% -20.2%
US crude 101.10 -1.31 -1.3% 10.1%
Dow Jones 15,202 -100 -0.7% 16.0%
Gold 1285.41 12.62 1.0% -23.2%
Euro/dollar 1.3518 -0.0044 -0.3% 2.5%
Dollar Index 80.4860 0.2230 0.3% 0.9%
(Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney, Muriel
Boselli in Paris; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Krista Hughes)