February 5, 2015 / 2:18 PM / 3 years ago

GRAINS-Wheat up on prospects for Egyptian sales, softer dollar

* Wheat rebounds after 15 percent drop in January
    * Soybeans higher as palm oil surge lifts soyoil
    * Corn ends firm after choppy trade

 (Adds closing prices)
    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade wheat
futures climbed nearly 3 percent on Thursday, buoyed by a softer
dollar and hopes for U.S. sales of the grain to top buyer Egypt,
traders said.
    Soybeans rose, led by strength in soyoil and Malaysian palm
oil, while corn ended firm after a choppy session.
    At the CBOT, March wheat settled up 14-3/4 cents, or
2.9 percent, at $5.25-3/4 per bushel. March soybeans rose
9-1/4 cents to $9.81-3/4, and March corn ended up 1-3/4
cents at $3.85-1/4.
    Egypt's state grain buyer could purchase U.S. wheat to make
use of a $100 million credit line made available to it by the
United States.
    "Part of the conditions of using that grant is to have a
tender for U.S. wheat to find the best price," Egyptian Supplies
Minister Khaled Hanafi said. "The first slot that will be
available for us to use is $100 million." 
    Technical buying lent support. CBOT wheat was due for
a bounce after falling nearly 15 percent during January, its
biggest monthly decline in three years, amid ample world
supplies. 
    "We have been oversold for quite some time and are seeing
some short-covering coming into the market," said analyst Shawn
McCambridge of Jefferies Bache in Chicago. 
    Also supportive was a setback in the dollar, coupled with
strength in crude oil and equity markets. Similar trends on
Tuesday triggered a broad commodities rally.
    Soybeans rose as surging Malaysian palm oil futures lifted
global vegetable oils markets, including CBOT soyoil. 
    Malaysian palm jumped more than 5 percent after
plans by Indonesia's government to ramp up biodiesel subsidies
passed a legislative hurdle. Higher subsidies could boost the
use of palm oil for blending into biodiesel, demand for which
has dwindled after crude oil prices crashed 60 percent between
June and late January. 
    Analysts said the outlook for a record Brazilian soybean
harvest remained a drag on soy prices. 
    "Weather forecasters continue to expect timely rainfall in
most Brazilian crop areas," Tobin Gorey, director of
agricultural strategy for Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said
in a note to clients. 
    U.S. soybean export sales in the week ended Jan. 29 came in
at the high end of market estimates but were the second-lowest
since October, indicating a seasonal slowdown. 
 
    
 Prices at 3:25 p.m. CST (2125 GMT)                 
 
                              LAST      NET    PCT  
 
                                        CHG    CHG  
 
 CBOT corn                  385.25     1.75   0.5%  
 CBOT soy                   981.25     9.25   1.0%  
 CBOT meal                  331.40    -1.30  -0.4%  
 CBOT soyoil                 31.71     1.12   3.7%  
 CBOT wheat                 525.75    14.75   2.9%  
 
 (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham
in Sydney; editing by William Hardy and Lisa Von Ahn)

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