May 30, 2013 / 4:47 AM / 4 years ago

GRAINS-Wheat drops on worries gene-modified strain may hit demand

* Japan cancels tender to buy U.S. western white wheat
    * December corn falls for first time in six sessions

    By Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat dropped half a percent
on Thursday, as an unapproved genetically modified (GMO) variety
of the grain found in the state of Oregon fuelled worries that
major buyers could curb purchases from the United States.
    Japan, the top importer of U.S. wheat, has already cancelled
a tender to buy U.S. western white wheat. Analysts fear more
countries could follow.  
    "The findings of GMO in wheat is certainly a factor that has
weighed on wheat prices," said Joyce Liu, an investment analyst
at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
    "I won't be surprised if other countries start cancelling or
reducing their purchases of U.S. wheat, particularly Asian
countries, putting pressure on wheat demand."
    Chicago Board of Trade July wheat fell 0.64 percent to
$6.98-1/4 a bushel by 0320 GMT, after ending Wednesday up 1.3
percent. Concerns that portions of the U.S. wheat crop could be
harmed by the persistent rainfall and, in some areas, flooding,
are expected to cushion prices.
    Unfriendly crop weather will also support prices of soybeans
and corn, with excessive rain late this week expected to further
slow U.S. plantings. 
    Farmers in the United States slowed the pace of planting in
the past week as rain delayed the tail-end of corn seeding and
pushed soybean planting to its slowest pace in 17 years, the
USDA said on Tuesday. 
    The most actively traded December corn fell 0.13
percent to $5.65 a bushel, after a five-day rally. November
soybeans slipped 0.12 percent $12.87 a bushel, off
Wednesday's 3-month top of $12.95.
    But spot soybeans extended losses, pressured by news
that China, the world's largest buyer of the oilseed, had
cancelled an order for U.S. soy.
    The USDA said private exporters reported the cancellation of
sales of 147,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China for delivery
this marketing year.
            
  Grains prices at  0320 GMT
  Contract        Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg MA 30   RSI 
  CBOT wheat     698.25    -4.50  -0.64%    +0.65%     703.38   51
  CBOT corn      664.75    -0.25  -0.04%    -0.26%     644.97   50
  CBOT soy      1498.50    -3.25  -0.22%    -0.71%    1416.98   56
  CBOT rice      $15.42   -$0.04  -0.26%    +0.65%     $15.32   53
  WTI crude      $93.12   -$0.01  -0.01%    -1.99%     $93.76   40
  Currencies                                                
  Euro/dlr       $1.295   $0.001  +0.10%    +0.75%
  USD/AUD         0.965    0.001  +0.13%    +0.33%
 
  Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
  RSI 14, exponential
 
 (Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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