November 13, 2019 / 4:15 AM / 3 months ago

GRAINS-Soybeans firm on slow U.S. harvest pace, wheat eases after rally

    * Soybeans rise as last phase of U.S. harvest faces weather
    * Concerns over delay in U.S.-China trade deal cap gains
    * Wheat dips after rally, concerns over cold snap in U.S.

 (Adds details, quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures edged
up on Wednesday as a slow pace of U.S. harvest supported prices,
although worries that U.S.-China trade talks are stalling kept a
lid on the market.
    Wheat slid after climbing more than 2% on Tuesday amid
concerns over a crop-threatening cold snap in the U.S. Plains.
    The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of
Trade       was up 0.2% at $9.18-1/2 a bushel by 0358 GMT.
Prices had closed little changed on Tuesday after hitting the
Oct. 8 low of $9.15 a bushel.
    Wheat       was down 0.3% at $5.15-1/2 a bushel, having
closed up 2.2% on Tuesday and corn       lost 0.1% at $3.77-1/4
a bushel, having gained 1.2% in the previous session.
    "Soybeans are finding support due to the tail-end of harvest
delays, although risk is actually bigger to the corn crop," said
Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON
Commodities in Sydney. 
    "We are still unsure about the U.S.-China trade deal, but
seems like it is inching closer." 
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the soybean
harvest was 85% complete, behind analysts' forecasts and below
the average pace of 92%.             
    The corn harvest was at 66% complete, behind expectations
and lower than a five-year average of 85%, the agency said after
the market closed on Tuesday.                          
    It said 54% of the winter wheat crop is in good to excellent
condition, lagging behind forecasts of a steady rating of 57%.
    Temperatures dropped to near zero Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius)
in wheat-growing areas of the U.S. Plains, including in western
Kansas, according to a daily weather report from the USDA.
    But analysts said it might too early to get worried about
the U.S. winter crop which will be harvested in the middle of
next year.
    "Wheat had a bit of an unmotivated rally as it was too early
to have real concerns about the cold weather," Houe said.
    "Global prices eased a couple of dollars last week, so no
reason for U.S. futures to run up."
    The USDA separately reported 528,875 tonnes of U.S. wheat
were inspected for export in the week ended Nov. 7. That was
slightly above analysts' estimates for 300,000 to 500,000
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday dangled the prospect
of completing an initial trade deal with China "soon" but
offered no new details on negotiations.             
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean
and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday, and net sellers of
soyoil futures, traders said.              

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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