September 18, 2017 / 3:58 AM / in 9 months

GRAINS-Soybeans rise on strong demand, wheat rises for second day

    * Soybeans rise for three out of four sessions
    * Strong demand, concerns about S.American crop support
    * Wheat underpinned by shrinking crop in Australia

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures rose
on Monday for the third session out of four on expectations of
strong demand from China although the expanding harvest in the
United States kept a lid on the market.
    Wheat edged higher, holding on to Friday's 1.4 percent gain
on concerns over lower production in Australia, the world's
fourth-largest exporter.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract
 gained 0.5 percent to $9.73-1/2 a bushel by 0326 GMT,
wheat rose 0.1 percent $4.49-1/2 a bushel and corn
was unchanged at $3.54-3/4 a bushel.
    Export demand is lending support to soybeans. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture said on Friday that private exporters
sold 132,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the latest in a
string of U.S. soybean sales announced last week.
    Cash values for soybeans continued to firm at the U.S. Gulf,
supported by exporters seeking beans for September loadings.

    In addition, Argentina's 2017/18 soybean harvest is expected
to fall by as much as 7 percent to 52 million tonnes compared
with the 2016/17 crop year, local agriculture analysts said on
Friday, citing low profit margins and excess water caused by
heavy rains.
    "Demand is going to be strong and that is a known factor,"  
said one India-based agricultural commodities analyst.
    "But what is uncertain is the weather. There is talk about
La Nina impacting crops in Brazil and Argentina."
    The gain in soybean prices was capped by expectations of
expanding harvest progress in the U.S. Midwest in the coming
    Drier weather in the eastern U.S. Midwest and the
Mississippi Delta region will favour corn and soybean drydown
and early harvesting, the MDA Weather Services said in a note to
    For wheat, the Australian government last week cut its
estimate of the country's 2017/18 harvest to 21.64 million
tonnes, an eight-year low.
    Looking at the next year, private analytics firm Informa
Economics expects U.S. farmers in 2018 to devote more acres to
corn and wheat and fewer to soybeans, according to an Informa
client note.
    The firm projected U.S. 2018 corn plantings at 91.880
million acres, up from its estimate of 90.660 million seeded in
2017, according to the note dated Thursday and seen by Reuters
on Friday.

 Grains prices at  0326 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  449.50  0.50    +0.11%   +1.47%       446.54  76
 CBOT corn   354.75  0.00    +0.00%   +0.14%       361.54  66
 CBOT soy    973.50  4.75    +0.49%   -0.26%       950.96  68
 CBOT rice   12.86   $0.05   +0.39%   +0.35%       $12.66  68
 WTI crude   49.92   $0.03   +0.06%   +0.06%       $48.17  67
 Euro/dlr    $1.194  $0.000  +0.02%   +0.21%               
 USD/AUD     0.8025  0.002   +0.30%   +0.25%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Christian
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