* Wheat prices firm as cold, dry weather threatens U.S.
* Corn, soybeans rise as weaker dollar supports commodities
(Adds comment, detail)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, March 16 Chicago wheat futures rose
for a second session on Thursday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and
concerns over potentially crop-damaging cold and dry weather in
the United States.
U.S. soybeans pushed further away from a near three-month
low hit earlier in the week, while corn prices gained for a
third day in a row.
The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract
had climbed 0.3 percent to $4.37-1/2 a bushel by 0322 GMT,
having closed up 1.3 percent on Wednesday.
Soybeans added 0.4 percent to $10.02-1/4 a bushel and
corn advanced 0.5 percent to $3.65-1/4 a bushel.
"There is dry and cold weather in the U.S. which could
reduce yields. If wheat prices remain low, then there are strong
chances of U.S. farmers reducing acreage," said Rajesh Singla,
head of agriculture research at Societe Generale.
"For soybeans, the market's focus is on U.S. planting
The dollar was at a one-month low early on Thursday after
the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates, as expected, but
signalled no pick-up in the pace of tightening.
A weaker dollar makes greenback-priced commodities cheaper
for importers holding other currencies.
Gains in the wheat market were capped as Egypt's state grain
buyer said it would purchase Russian, French and Ukrainian
wheat, again shunning U.S. supplies.
Favourable weather ahead of spring sowing in Black Sea grain
producers Russia and Ukraine is boosting hopes of a large
harvest, analysts, officials and traders said, although it will
likely fall short of last year's record.
The soybean market came under pressure on Wednesday on signs
of slower U.S. demand.
The National Oilseed Processors Association in the United
States said its members crushed a smaller-than-expected 142.792
million bushels of soybeans in February, the smallest monthly
total since September.
Analysts said the plentiful global soybean supply outlook
would continue to drag on prices, with a record crop expected in
Brazil and new indications U.S. farmers will raise soybean
production for next season.
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and wheat
futures contracts on Wednesday and net sellers in soybeans,
traders said. They were sellers of soyoil and even in soymeal.
Grains prices at 0322 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI
CBOT wheat 437.50 1.50 +0.34% +1.63% 450.36 60
CBOT corn 365.25 1.75 +0.48% +0.83% 373.72 54
CBOT soy 1002.25 4.25 +0.43% +0.30% 1036.32 44
CBOT rice $9.73 $0.05 +0.57% -0.05% $9.70 73
WTI crude $49.13 $0.27 +0.55% +2.95% $52.34 34
Euro/dlr $1.073 -$0.001 -0.06% +1.17%
USD/AUD 0.768 -0.002 -0.30% +1.67%
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)