June 18, 2019 / 1:39 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybean prices climb nearly 1%, hit more than 3-mth high

SYDNEY, June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean prices rose nearly 1% on Tuesday to their highest in more than three months, pushed up after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the pace of planting for the commodity was lagging market expectations.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.7% at $9.19 a bushel by 0045 GMT, after earlier touching their highest since early March at $9.21-1/2 a bushel. Soybean prices firmed 1.8 percent on Monday.

* The most active corn futures were down 0.4% at $4.53 a bushel, having gained 0.4 percent in the previous session when prices hit their highest since June 2014 at $4.64-1/4 a bushel.

* The most active wheat futures were down 1% at $5.34-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 0.4 percent on Monday.

* The USDA said U.S. soybean planting was 77% finished by Sunday, lagging the average trade estimate of 79% and the five-year average of 93%.

* The U.S. corn crop was 92% seeded, in line with trade expectations but behind the average of 100%.

* The National Oilseed Processors Association said its members crushed 154.8 million bushels of soybeans in May, below an average of trade estimates for 162.5 million.

* The USDA said 8% of the winter wheat crop was harvested by Sunday, behind the five-year average of 20%. Condition ratings remained relatively strong with 64% of the winter wheat seen as good-to-excellent, up from 39% a year ago.

* The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) lowered its forecast of 2019/20 wheat exports to 11.7 million tonnes, from 14.2 million previously, citing drought.

MARKET NEWS

* The U.S. dollar was roughly unchanged on Monday, hovering near the two-week high set earlier in the session as investors reconsidered how dovish the Federal Reserve is likely to be at this week’s policy meeting.

* Oil prices fell more than 1% on Monday after more poor Chinese economic figures fanned fears of lower worldwide oil demand.

* Wall Street edged higher on Monday, supported by Facebook, Amazon and Apple. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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