January 3, 2018 / 3:42 AM / 6 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat rises a second day as cold weather threatens U.S. crops

    * Wheat lingers near one-month high
    * Soybeans firm as dry weather persists across Argentina
    * Corn little changed

    By Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, Jan 3 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose for a
second day on Wednesday, lingering near a one-month high touched
in the previous session, as sub-zero temperatures across a key
North American producing region underpinned gains.
    Soybeans edged higher for a third straight session as
concerns about production in Argentina lent support, while corn
was little changed.
    The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade
 were up 0.5 percent at $4.35-1/2 a bushel by 0248 GMT,
having closed up 1.5 percent on Tuesday when prices hit a high
of $4.36-1/4 a bushel - the highest since Dec. 5, 2017.
    "It is bitterly cold across the central U.S. now and there
is little snow cover, potentially risking the crop," said a
Sydney-based grain broker, who declined to be named as he is not
authorised to talk to the media
    Winter wheat crops are typically covered by snow during this
time of year which helps protect the dormant crop from cold
    The most-active corn futures were little changed at
$3.53-1/2 a bushel, having gained 0.7 percent in the previous
    Corn export inspections during Dec. 21 to 28 were 683,898
tonnes, also in line with trade estimates that ranged from
575,000 to 800,000 tonnes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) said on Tuesday. 
    Export inspections of wheat during the period totalled
274,506 tonnes, below estimates for 300,000 to 600,000 tonnes,
the USDA said.
    The most active soybean futures were up 0.2 percent to
$9.66-1/2 a bushel, having firmed 0.3 percent on Tuesday.
    Analysts said soybeans continue to draw support amid
concerns about dry weather across some areas.
    Argentina's bread-basket province of Buenos Aires will
remain mostly dry over the days ahead, meteorologists said on
Tuesday, after reporting scant rains over the weekend in the
country's biggest and most productive farm area.
    The USDA said on Tuesday that weekly U.S. soybean export
inspections were 1.139 million tonnes, in line with forecasts
for 1.1 million to 1.3 million tonnes.
 Grains prices at  0248 GMT
 Contract       Last   Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg   MA 30   RSI 
 CBOT wheat   435.50     2.00    +0.46%       +1.99%  427.52     75
 CBOT corn    353.50     0.25    +0.07%       +0.78%  352.43     67
 CBOT soy     966.50     1.75    +0.18%       +0.49%  988.04     46
 CBOT rice     11.75   -$0.03    -0.21%       -1.43%  $12.28     27
 WTI crude     60.41    $0.04    +0.07%       -0.02%  $58.01     76
 Euro/dlr     $1.205  -$0.001    -0.09%       +0.32%               
 USD/AUD      0.7809   -0.002    -0.26%       +0.08%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
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