* Soybeans rise for seventh straight session
* Soybeans on course for biggest two-week jump since August
* Wheat steady after biggest single-session rise in two
By Colin Packham
SYDNEY, May 24 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans rose for a seventh
straight session on Friday as the oilseed closed in on its
biggest two-week gain in nearly nine months as tight old-crop
stocks and continued strong demand underpinned gains.
Corn edged lower for the first time in three sessions, while
wheat held steady after surging more than 2 percent in the
Chicago Board of Trade July soybeans rose 0.33 percent
to $15.04-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 0.35 percent in the
Soybeans are on course to finish the week up 3.85 percent,
the largest gain since August 24, 2012. Two-week gains hit 7.5
percent, the largest two-week surge since the end of August
Soybean prices have risen due to tight U.S. old-crop stocks,
but traders said it was not yet clear if prices would rise
further or buyers would look to sellers in South America, which
has been hit by logistical problems.
"Soybean export sales are still running at decent levels out
of the U.S. .... they can not continue to make old-crop sales at
this rate," said Paul Deane, senior agricultural economist, ANZ.
July corn fell 0.3 percent to $6.60 a bushel, having
gained 0.53 percent in the previous session. Corn is poised to
finish the week up 1.1 percent, rising for a second straight
July wheat was little changed at $7.03-3/4 a bushel,
having closed up 2.1 percent on Wednesday, and is on course to
finish the week up 3 percent.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 183,500 tonnes of
2012/13 soybeans were sold in the current marketing year, with a
further 193,800 tonnes from the 2013/14 marketing year.
Fears of tight stocks were stoked by a port strike in
Argentina, despite the four-day labour dispute coming to an end.
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.
Wheat shrugged off pressure from corn to remain steady on
Friday after posting its biggest single-day rise in the previous
session in two-weeks.
Analysts said wheat drew support from technical buying and
short-covering, though uncertainty also lingers over the
condition of the U.S. winter crop.
Grains prices at 0319 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI
CBOT wheat 703.75 0.50 +0.07% +2.21% 704.05 59
CBOT corn 660.00 -2.00 -0.30% +0.23% 642.08 47
CBOT soy 1504.50 5.00 +0.33% +0.69% 1403.26 63
CBOT rice $15.55 -$0.01 -0.06% +1.34% $15.35 66
WTI crude $94.07 -$0.18 -0.19% -0.22% $93.19 43
Euro/dlr $1.292 -$0.002 -0.14% +0.47%
USD/AUD 0.967 -0.008 -0.86% -0.30%
Most active contracts
Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
RSI 14, exponential
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Richard Pullin)