December 19, 2016 / 4:32 AM / in 8 months

GRAINS-Wheat prices firm as cold weather threatens U.S. crops

* Frigid temperatures spark worry over U.S. wheat crop
losses
    * Soybeans little changed after export-led rally

    By Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose nearly 1 percent
as cold weather struck key U.S. producing regions, raising fears
of potential crop losses.
    Soybean prices held steady after posting gains of nearly 1
percent in the previous session, while corn was little changed.
     The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade
 had risen 0.7 percent to $4.12-1/4 a bushel by 0358 GMT,
having closed little changed on Friday.
    "It is very cold in the U.S. and that has some concerned
about crop losses," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist,
National Australia Bank.
    Frigid temperatures across the U.S. Plains and Midwest
potentially expose the country's hard red and soft red crops to
damage.    
    Both are planted in autumn and go dormant during the winter,
before resuming growth in the spring. Wheat is typically at its
hardiest during the winter months, but plants can be damaged if
temperatures dip enough for extended periods.
    The most active soybean futures were little changed 
at $10.37-1/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.8 percent on Friday .
    The most active corn futures were steady at $3.56-1/2
a bushel, after closing little changed on Friday.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said private
exporters reported a deal to ship 205,000 tonnes of soybeans to
unknown destinations in the 2016/17 marketing year. It was the
third flash sale of the week. 
    Meanwhile, Brazilian independent analysts Safras & Mercado
raised their forecast for Brazil's 2016/17 soybean crop to 106.1
million tonnes, 9.2 percent above the 2015/16 season and 2.5
percent more than its previous projection in October.
        
 Grains prices at  0408 GMT
 Contract        Last  Change     Pct  Two-day chg    MA 30  RSI 
                                  chg                        
 CBOT wheat    412.25    3.00  +0.73%       +0.73%   417.34    68
 CBOT corn     356.50    0.25  +0.07%       +0.00%   355.62    63
 CBOT soy     1037.25    0.50  +0.05%       +0.80%  1021.22    56
 CBOT rice       9.52   $0.04  +0.42%       +0.58%    $9.68    39
 WTI crude      52.35   $0.45  +0.87%       +2.85%   $48.33    64
 Currencies                                                      
 Euro/dlr      $1.046  $0.001  +0.08%       +0.41%               
 USD/AUD       0.7295  -0.001  -0.12%       -0.82%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 
    

 (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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