* Wheat rises for third day, hits highest since Feb. 16
* Dryness in parts of U.S. Plains underpins market
* Strong Egypt buying also buoys prices
(Adds comment, detail)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, March 2 Chicago wheat rose for a
third session on Thursday, climbing to a two-week high on large
purchases by top buyer Egypt and as dryness stressed crops in
parts of the U.S. Plains.
Soybeans eased after a two-day fund-driven rally, while
corn prices were unchanged.
The Chicago Board of Trade's most-active wheat contract
had risen 0.3 percent to $4.58-1/2 a bushel by 0342 GMT,
after climbing earlier in the session to $4.59-1/4 a bushel, its
strongest since Feb. 16. Wheat closed up 3 percent on Wednesday.
Soybeans declined 0.1 percent to $10.50-1/2 a bushel,
having firmed almost 3 percent in the past two days. Corn
was unchanged at $3.82 a bushel, after gaining 2.2 percent in
the previous session.
"There is dryness in the Southern Plains which is causing
some concern and Egypt made solid purchases," said Rajesh
Singla, head of agriculture research at Societe Generale.
"U.S. wheat was pretty competitive, it was mainly because of
the freight costs the tender was awarded to Black Sea and
Egypt's main state wheat buyer, the General Authority for
Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 535,000 tonnes of wheat at an
international tender. The purchase was GASC's largest since
Japan's farm ministry bought a total of around 113,000
tonnes of wheat from the United States and Australia in a
regular tender that closed late on Wednesday.
Weather forecasts showed potentially stressful dry and warm
conditions persisting in the U.S. Southern Plains winter wheat
Corn and soyoil prices were supported by reports of changes
to U.S. government policy that could lift U.S. biofuel
production. Corn is the primary U.S. feedstock for ethanol,
while soyoil is used in biodiesel.
Gains were capped, however, by a lack of confirmation from
the Trump administration about any changes.
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean and
wheat futures contracts on Wednesday. Estimates for fund buying
in corn ranged from 9,000 to 14,000 contracts and in soybeans
from 6,000 to 10,000 contracts.
Grains prices at 0342 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI
CBOT wheat 458.50 1.50 +0.33% +3.32% 449.64 51
CBOT corn 382.00 0.00 +0.00% +2.41% 374.43 60
CBOT soy 1050.50 -1.25 -0.12% +1.42% 1052.00 53
CBOT rice 9.66 $0.00 +0.00% +0.99% $9.82 44
WTI crude 53.72 -$0.11 -0.20% -0.54% $53.27 51
Euro/dlr $1.053 -$0.001 -0.13% -0.41%
USD/AUD 0.7653 -0.002 -0.27% -0.05%
Most active contracts
Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
RSI 14, exponential
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)