GRAINS-Wheat up 2 percent as dollar wilts, exports rise

* Wheat due for a bounce, was oversold
    * Corn and soybeans gain as supplies shrink
    * Falling dollar lends support

 (New throughout to report upturn in the market, adds fresh
analyst quotes, changes dateline from PARIS/SINGAPORE)
    By Sam Nelson
    CHICAGO, May 23 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade wheat
futures leaped 2 percent on Thursday, advancing for the second
day in a row, with a falling dollar, big export sales of U.S.
wheat and technical buying boosting prices, traders said.
    Corn and soybeans also rose, led by the old-crop contracts,
as already historically low U.S. supplies of each continue to
shrink. Soybean futures continue uptrend and hit an eight-month high as a port strike in major exporter Argentina increased the focus on the tight short-term supply of the oilseed. "There is strike talk, I'm not so sure how much of an impact this is having, but there is that chatter," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist for Illinois-based research and advisory firm Allendale Inc. 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 wage deal on Thursday and vowed to continue the work stoppage until next week. Larger-than-expected export sales of wheat, corn and soybeans in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly export sales report on Thursday contributed to advances. Wheat posted its biggest one-day advance in two weeks and, along with corn, rose for the second day in a row. Soybeans have risen for six straight sessions and already are up 4.3 percent for the week, the biggest one-week gainer in 10 months. At 11:13 a.m. CDT (1613 GMT), CBOT July wheat was up 11-1/2 cents at $7.00 per bushel, corn for July delivery
was up 5-1/2 at $6.64 per bushel and July soybeans were up 18 cents at $15.12-1/4 per bushel. Wheat fell to a two-month low early in the week and was due for a recovery, traders said. Nelson said that while concerns remain about wheat crop weather in Europe and Russia, much of the strength in the wheat market on Thursday was tied to technical short covering. "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." The U.S. Department of Agriculture's 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. [ID:nL2N0E31DS} The dollar index fell nearly 1 percent on Thursday after a slide in stocks sparked by a drop in Chinese factory activity. Corn prices also were recovering. The market declined earlier in the week in reaction to spectacular planting progress last week in the United States. Now a return of rain is slowing remaining field work. "We still haven't finished as far as the planting goes and
finding some demand along the way is going to provide reasonable support," said Brett Cooper, a senior markets manager at INTL FCStone Australia. 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 (degrees Fahrenheit) to lower 90s F would help dry soils between showers and speed corn and soybean emergence. Prices at 11:03 a.m. CDT (1603 GMT) LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 664.50 6.00 0.9% 2.8% CBOT soy 1513.50 19.50 1.3% 26.3% CBOT meal 445.50 4.90 1.1% 44.0% CBOT soyoil 49.53 -0.11 -0.2% -4.9% CBOT wheat 701.50 13.00 1.9% 7.5% CBOT rice 1541.00 7.00 0.5% 5.5% EU wheat 206.75 0.75 0.4% 2.1% US crude 93.57 -0.71 -0.8% -5.3% Dow Jones 15,313 5 0.0% 25.3% Gold 1383.94 15.40 1.1% -11.5% Euro/dollar 1.2942 0.0086 0.7% 0.0% Dollar Index 83.6670 -0.6850 -0.8% 4.4% Baltic Freight 828 -1 -0.1% -52.4% (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)



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