* Soybeans up on thin stocks, South America shipping woes
* Technically oversold wheat due for bounce, adds 2 percent
* Strong export sales, weaker dollar also supportive
(Recasts, adds quotes, details, updates with closing prices)
By Sam Nelson and Karl Plume
CHICAGO, May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean prices rose for a
sixth consecutive session on Thursday and struck an eight-month
high as the dwindling cash supply left from the drought-plagued
2012 harvest sparked commercial buying in futures.
Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures leaped more than 2
percent, advancing for the second day in a row, with a falling
dollar and technical buying boosting prices, traders said.
Corn also firmed on thin U.S. old-crop supplies and
spillover support from soybeans.
All three markets drew support from stronger-than-expected
export sales in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA)
weekly export sales report on Thursday.
Soybean futures continued a recent uptrend as a port strike
in major exporter Argentina increased the focus on the tight
short-term supply of the oilseed.
The strike, and lengthy vessel backups at other South
American ports, raised concerns that some global demand could
shift to the United States where supplies were forecast to
shrink to a nine-year low before the autumn harvest.
"The talk is it was commercial or end-user buying. If they
can't buy the cash in the country they'll come to the board and
buy futures," said Mike Zuzolo, analyst for Global Commodity
"My sources said end-users are locking in soybeans for June
shipment. Also, the exports were very good, above estimates, and
that is especially true for meal exports," Zuzolo said.
Argentina's striking port workers, who have stalled scores
of cargo ships since walking off the job over a wage dispute
earlier this week, failed to reach a deal on Thursday and vowed
to continue the work stoppage until next week.
CBOT July soybeans traded in an uncommonly broad
59-1/4 cent range and closed up 5-1/4 cents, or 0.4 percent, at
$14.99-1/2 a bushel. After trading lower at times early in the
session, technical buying fuelled a late-session spike to
$15.46-3/4, the highest price for a spot-month contract since
Wheat climbed for a second consecutive day and posted its
biggest one-day advance in two weeks. The market was due for a
recovery after falling to a two-month low early in the week and
much of the strength on Thursday was tied to technical short
covering, traders said.
"There is short-covering, they exhausted the selling," said
Shawn McCambridge, analyst for Jefferies Bache. "There was
support from export sales and the dollar is sharply lower."
CBOT July wheat settled up 14-3/4 cents, or 2.1
percent, at $7.03-1/4 per bushel.
The USDA weekly export sales report released on Thursday
showed net export sales of U.S. wheat last week at nearly a
million tonnes, well above analysts' estimates.
The dollar index fell nearly 1 percent on Thursday
after a slide in stocks sparked by a drop in Chinese factory
Corn prices also recovered after early-week pressure from a
record-fast U.S. planting pace last week. But rain has returned
and is now slowing remaining field work.
CBOT July corn rose 3-1/2 cents, or 0.5 percent, to
$6.62 per bushel.
Rainfall over the next week to 10 days in parts of the
Midwest will delay remaining corn seedings and possibly cause a
shift from corn to soybean acreage, an agricultural
meteorologist said on Thursday.
"Acreage reductions are most likely in northeastern Iowa,
southeastern Minnesota, central North Dakota and western
Wisconsin as rains remain normal to above normal," said
Commodity Weather Group (CWG) meteorologist Joel Widenor.
Elsewhere in the Midwest, Widenor said warmer weather next
week with highs in the 80s to lower 90s (degrees Fahrenheit)
would help dry soils between showers and speed corn and soybean
Prices at 2:07 p.m. CDT (1907 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 662.00 3.50 0.5% 2.4%
CBOT soy 1499.50 5.25 0.4% 5.7%
CBOT meal 437.00 -0.60 -0.1% 41.2%
CBOT soyoil 49.66 0.02 0.0% -4.7%
CBOT wheat 703.25 14.75 2.1% 7.7%
CBOT rice 1555.50 21.50 1.4% 6.5%
EU wheat 207.75 1.75 0.9% 2.6%
US crude 94.29 0.01 0.0% -4.6%
Dow Jones 15,325 18 0.1% 25.4%
Gold 1390.40 21.86 1.6% -11.1%
Euro/dollar 1.2930 0.0074 0.6% -0.1%
Dollar Index 83.7540 -0.5980 -0.7% 4.5%
Baltic Freight 828 -1 -0.1% -52.4%
(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer and Jim