GRAINS-Soybeans ease on Argentine rains, wheat near 3-1/2 year low

* Wheat ticks up but not far from 3-1/2 year low
    * Soy falls 0.4 pct on f'cast for rains in Argentina

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans eased on
Tuesday, falling further from last week's three-and-a-half week
top as forecasts of rains in Argentina eased concerns over yield
losses arising from dry weather.
    Wheat hovered around its lowest since July, 2010 as ample
global supplies continued to weigh, although fresh demand from
top importers put a floor under the market.
    Chicago Board Of Trade March soybeans lost 0.4 percent
to $13.11-1/4 a bushel by 0310 GMT after climbing to the highest since Dec. 23 on Thursday. March wheat rose 0.2 percent to $5.64-3/4 a bushel, but not far from a three-and-a-half year low of 5.60-1/2 hit on Jan. 10. March corn eased 0.2 percent to $4.23-1/4 a bushel. "Wheat prices are being heavily pressured by global surplus, however, export activity is still brisk which has helped in relieving some of the pressure," said Vanessa Tan, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. For soybeans, ample rains expected in Argentina's agricultural belt over the days ahead should help farmers preserve yields that had been threatened by recent weeks of extreme dry and hot weather. The South American grains powerhouse is the world's No. 3 exporter of soybeans and corn, as well as its top supplier of soymeal and soyoil. Drought-like conditions in December took a toll on 2013-14 corn yields while soy has avoided as much damage, thanks to having been planted weeks after corn. In Brazil, sales of 2013-14 soybean crop, which is about 1 percent harvested, are lagging last year's pace, analysts at Celeres said on Monday. As of Jan. 10, an estimated 41.7 percent of the crop had
been sold compared with 55.9 percent a year earlier as farmers are reluctant to commit to lower international prices. The wheat market continued to face headwinds from plentiful global supplies. European wheat futures extended losses on Monday to hit their lowest in more than three months. Still, the pullback in global wheat prices has stirred fresh demand from buyers, with top importer Egypt making two tender purchases in the past 10 days that brought sales for French and U.S. wheat. Egypt's main government wheat buyer GASC booked 60,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat as part of a 295,000 tonne purchase on last week. Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued a tender to buy 50,000 tonnes of optional-origin milling wheat for shipment in April, European traders said on Monday. Australian wheat was offered at the lowest price of $334.78 a tonne, including cost and freight, in a tender from Iraq's state grain board to purchase at least 50,000 tonnes of hard wheat. Prices at 0310 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 564.75 1.25 +0.22% -0.53% 607.38 28 CBOT corn 423.25 -0.75 -0.18% -0.59% 428.33 45 CBOT soy 1311.25 -5.25 -0.40% -0.51% 1305.32 46 CBOT rice $15.54 -$0.06 -0.42% -0.67% $15.44 44 WTI crude $93.89 -$0.48 -0.51% -0.51% $96.06 47 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.355 -$0.005 -0.40% -0.16% USD/AUD 0.882 -0.008 -0.89% -0.95%
Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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