November 20, 2019 / 2:53 AM / 3 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms for third session on U.S. crop prospects

SYDNEY, Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures extended gains into a third consecutive session on Wednesday as concerns about the state of North American crops stoked fears that yields will fall short of market expectations, keeping prices near a one-week high.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.2% at $5.13-1/4 a bushel, as of 0158 GMT. In the previous session, wheat futures closed 1% firmer, when prices matched a November 13 high of $5.15-1/4 a bushel.

* The most active soybean futures were up 0.3% at $9.14 a bushel, having closed 0.1% higher on Tuesday.

* The most active corn futures were unchanged at $3.70 a bushel, having closed about 0.6% firmer in the previous session.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) late Monday rated 52% of the U.S. winter wheat crop as good-to-excellent, down from 54% the previous week. Analysts on average had expected a decline of only one percentage point.

* The USDA on Tuesday said private exporters sold 191,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to unknown destinations, following sales of an additional 132,000 tonnes a day earlier.

* The USDA had said on Monday that the U.S. corn harvest was 76% complete, below analysts’ forecasts of 77% and well below the five-year average of 92%.

* The USDA also stated that the U.S. soybean harvest was 91% complete, matching an average of trade expectations but below the five-year average of 95%.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar and the safe-haven yen found support on Wednesday as a lack of clarity on U.S.-China trade talks kept investors cautious ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting.

* Oil fell more than $1 a barrel on Tuesday on concerns about excess global crude supply and limited progress toward resolving the U.S.-China trade dispute that has clouded the outlook for oil demand.

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell from record levels on Tuesday as dour forecasts from retailers Home Depot and Kohl’s fuelled worries about consumer spending and the U.S.-China trade dispute dragged on.

Reporting by Colin Packham, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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