March 7, 2013 / 12:57 PM / 4 years ago

GRAINS-Soy, wheat jump on U.S. export sales, pre-report positioning

* Traders even up positions before USDA supply report
    * Weekly U.S. wheat, soy export sales top estimates
    * Wheat rebounds from lowest level in nearly 9 months

 (Adds closing prices)
    By Tom Polansek
    CHICAGO, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rebounded on
Thursday from a nearly nine-month low, while soybeans jumped on
better-than-expected weekly export sales and expectations the
government will tighten its supply outlook.
    Traders were buying back previously sold positions in
soybeans amid expectations the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
in a monthly crop report on Friday, will cut its estimate for
U.S. inventories and its forecast for South American harvests.
    "The shorts don't really want to be in the market going into
the March report," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global
Commodity Analytics & Consulting.
    Chicago Board of Trade March soybeans climbed 1.3
percent to $15.03-1/2 a bushel. May soybeans rose 0.5
percent to $14.73-1/2 a bushel.
    CBOT May wheat soared 1.7 percent to $6.95-1/2 a
bushel, after sustaining its biggest one-day drop in nearly four
months on Wednesday. March wheat surged 1.6 percent to
$6.86-3/4 a bushel after falling to its lowest level in more
than eight months in early trading.
    Corn stabilized the day after it recorded its biggest daily
loss in almost six months. May corn edged up 0.4 percent
to $6.91-1/4 a bushel, having dropped 2.9 percent on Wednesday.
    "We regard the rapid fall in wheat and corn prices as
excessive and fundamentally unjustified," Commerzbank said in a
note, adding that USDA data is "likely to show that available
supply is still tight".
    
    BRAZIL CUTS SOY HARVEST
    Analysts polled by Reuters expect the USDA, in its crop
report, to increase estimates for U.S. wheat and corn supplies
slightly from last month and trim its outlook for soybean
supplies.  
    Traders remain nervous about low old-crop supplies of
soybeans as logistical problems in Brazil have shifted global
buyers from there to the United States.
    Brazil's government on Thursday cut 1.6 percent off its
forecast for the 2012/13 soybean crop, citing unfavorable
weather. However, farmers are still expected to produce a record
harvest. 
    A large Brazilian harvest is needed to replenish global
stocks after drought hurt crops there and in the United States
last season.
    "Tight old-crop supplies should be enough to keep prices
supported," said Kayla Burkhart, a broker for SunPrairie Grain.
    
    EXPORT BOOM
    Larger-than-expected exports helped underpin soy and wheat
prices, analysts said. 
    Weekly U.S. wheat export sales of 828,100 tonnes topped
expectations of 350,000 to 550,000 tonnes, while weekly soybean
export sales of almost 1.4 million tonnes beat estimates for
900,000 to 1.25 million tonnes. 
    Corn sales of 156,600 tonnes missed estimates for 450,000 to
650,000 tonnes. 
    
 Prices at 2:52 p.m. CST (2052 GMT)      
                              LAST      NET    PCT     YTD
                                        CHG    CHG     CHG
 CBOT corn                  691.25     2.75   0.4%   -1.0%
 CBOT soy                  1473.50     7.50   0.5%    3.9%
 CBOT meal                  436.00     1.80   0.4%    3.7%
 CBOT soyoil                 50.40     0.34   0.7%    2.5%
 CBOT wheat                 686.75    10.50   1.6%  -11.7%
 CBOT rice                 1516.00     6.50   0.4%    2.0%
 EU wheat                   238.75    -2.50  -1.0%   -4.6%
 
 US crude                    91.56     1.13   1.3%   -0.3%
 Dow Jones                  14,329       33   0.2%    9.3%
 Gold                      1576.99    -6.32  -0.4%   -5.8%
 Euro/dollar                1.3104   0.0139   1.1%   -0.7%
 Dollar Index              82.1030  -0.3560  -0.4%    2.9%
 Baltic Freight                834       14   1.7%   19.3%
 
 (Editing by David Gregorio, Bob Burgdorfer and Dale Hudson)

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