* Corn edges higher; gains capped by harvest progress
* Grain trading volume light due to U.S. govt shutdown
* More China buying expected after 420,000 T corn deal
(Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote,
byline, pvs LONDON)
By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures rose on
Wednesday, supported by firm export demand and the unwinding of
bearish bets as the feed grain traded near three-year lows,
Wheat and soybean futures were close to unchanged as the
market treaded water in the absence of fresh fundamental news.
The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government has cut
volume in the grains market as the U.S. Agriculture Department
was not issuing its regular reports that traders use as a basis
Although the market action in wheat was subdued, traders
said the market retained its bullish tone due to continued signs
of good demand from overseas buyers.
Corn's strength stemmed from news that a private Chinese
trading firm bought a total of 420,000 tonnes of corn last week
from the United States for delivery next year in order to take
advantage of cheap U.S. prices. [ID:ID:nL4N0HZ0VD]
The Chinese foray into the export market raised the prospect
of more purchases.
"I do not think it is a one and done," said Sterling Smith,
futures specialist with Citi in Chicago. "I think we will see
them back in the market."
At 10:25 a.m. CDT (1525 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade corn
for December delivery was up 1-3/4 cents at $4.43-1/2 a
bushel. The December corn contract peaked at $4.47 early in the
trading day but struggled to hold support above its 10-day
moving average of $4.45-3/8.
But gains were kept in check by forecasts for dry weather in
key production areas of the United States.
"This is going to be weighed against the very good weather
over the next three or four days which should result in very
good harvest progress," Smith said. "Those combines will be
rolling full speed. Guys get a window of good weather, they
really are going to be hammering those good fields."
CBOT December soft red winter wheat was down 1/2 cent at
$6.93 a bushel.
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC bought 500,000 tonnes of
optional-origin milling wheat in a tender, European traders
said. Most of the wheat will likely be sourced from France.
CBOT November soybeans dropped 2-1/2 cents to
$12.86-1/4 a bushel.
"Prices are down as the harvest pace picks up," said Vanessa
Tan, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. "Right
now it is warm and dry and that will allow the farmers to
accelerate their harvest."
Expectations for a record large crop in Brazil also weighed
on the soybean market. Brazil's government crop supply agency
Conab forecast harvest for the 2013/14 crop year between 87.6
million and 89.7 million tonnes.
Prices at 10:25 a.m. CDT (1525 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 443.50 1.75 0.4% -36.5%
CBOT soy 1286.25 -2.50 -0.2% -9.3%
CBOT meal 424.90 -3.80 -0.9% 1.0%
CBOT soyoil 40.27 0.07 0.2% -18.1%
CBOT wheat 693.00 -0.50 -0.1% -10.9%
CBOT rice 1486.50 11.00 0.8% 0.0%
EU wheat 198.00 1.75 0.9% -20.9%
US crude 101.77 -1.72 -1.7% 10.8%
Dow Jones 14,729 -48 -0.3% 12.4%
Gold 1301.86 -16.44 -1.2% -22.2%
Euro/dollar 1.3514 -0.0057 -0.4% 2.4%
Dollar Index 80.3900 0.3300 0.4% 0.8%
Baltic Freight 2125 -21 -1.0% 204.0%
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel,
rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb.
(Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by