GRAINS-Wheat at 1-week peak on supply concerns, soybeans ease

Thu Apr 4, 2013 8:04am IST

* Wheat up for 3rd session, rises to 1-wk top
    * Northern hemisphere cold weather raises concerns
    * Soy dips for 2nd day on LatAm supply, risk aversion

 (Adds detail, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, April 4 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose to a one-week
high on Thursday, building on gains a day after the market
posted its biggest rally in six months with support from colder
weather across the northern hemisphere raising global supply
concerns.
    Soybeans edged lower, falling for a second straight session,
while corn was little changed around Tuesday's nine-month trough
as a broad-based weakness in financial and commodity markets
weighed on grains and oilseeds.
    Wheat crops in parts of Europe and the United States are
being threatened by cooler-than-normal weather which could hurt
yields in some of the world's top producers and exporters.
    A wave of cold weather across France, Europe's biggest wheat
producer, in the past weeks could hit grain crop yields by 5 to
6 percent if it lasts beyond mid-April, said a leading scientist
at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research.
 
    U.S. winter wheat condition ratings were off to their worst
start in early April in 11 years, hobbled by poor soil moisture
in the southern Plains, even as storms in recent weeks brought
precipitation to a few areas.
    "Winter wheat crops in France are up to two weeks behind
schedule," said Luke Mathews, commodities strategist at the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note to clients. 
    "Cold weather is seen delaying spring wheat planting in the
U.S. northern Plains and concern lingers as to the extent of
damage caused by frost in the U.S. Southern Plains last week."
    Chicago Board of Trade May wheat had added 0.2 percent
to $6.98 a bushel by 0211 GMT. Wheat sank to a nine-month low of
$6.59-3/4 on Monday on a continuation chart. 
    May corn rose 0.2 percent to $6.42-3/4 a bushel, while
May soybeans eased 0.1 percent to $13.78-1/2 a bushel.
    Expectations of fresh export demand for U.S. supplies in
response to the sharp drop in CBOT wheat prices is also
underpinning the market.
    Commodity funds bought a net 11,000 Chicago Board of Trade
wheat contracts on Wednesday, trade sources said. They were even
in corn and sold 7,000 soybeans. 
    Funds held a net short position in CBOT wheat as of last
week, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
showed.
    In the soybean market, there was pressure from declines in
equity and commodity markets, triggered by signs of slowing
growth.
    Asian stocks eased on Thursday after weak data stoked
concerns the key American jobs report due later in the week
would signal slowing U.S. growth, while the yen remained firm
ahead of the Bank of Japan's policy decision this session.
 
    "Sharply weaker global crude oil prices and the general
risk-off attitude in wider financial markets contributed to the
losses in oilseed markets," said Mathews.
    Oil prices fell 3 percent on Wednesday in the steepest daily
drop in five months, as U.S. crude inventories rose to their
highest since 1990 and as weak economic data weighed on the
outlook for demand.
    The corn market, which slid to its lowest since late June on
Tuesday in the aftermath of the larger-than-expected U.S.
stockpiles, is facing pressure from a forecast of higher output
in China and South America.
    Private analytics firm Informa Economics raised its
forecasts for corn production in Argentina and Brazil, the firm
said in a note to clients. 
    The company estimated Brazil's 2012/13 corn crop, which is
currently being harvested, at 71.95 million tonnes, up from 71.6
million previously. It pegged Argentina's corn harvest at 25.3
million tonnes, up from 25.0 million previously.

  Prices at  0211 GMT
  Contract        Last    Change  Pct chg  MA 30   RSI 
  CBOT wheat     698.00     1.50  +0.22%   867.68   46
  CBOT corn      642.75     1.25  +0.19%   763.33   19
  CBOT soy      1378.50    -1.75  -0.13%  1576.49   28
  CBOT rice      $15.67    $0.02  +0.13%   $15.49   72
  WTI crude      $94.33   -$0.12  -0.13%   $89.13   44
  Currencies                                                
  Euro/dlr       $1.284   $0.055  
  USD/AUD         1.047   -0.008  
  Most active contracts
  Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
  RSI 14, exponential
    

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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