November 21, 2012 / 3:59 AM / 5 years ago

GRAINS-Soybeans ease after rally, wheat prices steady as US crop suffers

* Soy ticks down after two-day climb, corn flat
    * Wheat holds gains on poor U.S. crop condition
    * Oil World cuts South American soybean crop f'casts

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Nov 21 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans eased on
Wednesday, inching down after two consecutive sessions of gains
fuelled by forecasts of lower production in South American and a
rebound in Chinese demand.
    Wheat was little changed, holding gains made in the last two
sessions as dry weather in the U.S. Plains continued to hurt the
winter crop, while corn was largely unchanged after rising for
three days.
    Hamburg-based oilseed analysts Oil World cut their forecasts
for 2013 soybean harvests in Argentina and Brazil by a combined
3 million tonnes due to unfavourable weather disrupting sowing. 
    The oilseed market has dropped more than 20 percent
since hitting a record peak of $17.94-3/4 a bushel in September
on factors including improved U.S. supply prospects.
    There was additional support for the wheat market on
tightening supplies in key exporters, including those in the
Black Sea region and Australia, which is expected to generate
additional demand for the U.S. grain.
    "Wheat seemed to have found support and it is consolidating
now," said Luke Mathews, a commodities strategist at
Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.
    "We expect the U.S. to gain a little bit of share in the
export market and the condition of U.S. winter wheat crop
continues to deteriorate."
     Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans had fallen
0.4 percent to $14.07 a bushel by 0318 GMT, while December corn
 lost half a cent to trade at $7.42-3/4 a bushel. December
wheat was unchanged at $8.45 a bushel.
    There is little relief in sight for the U.S. winter wheat
crop which has deteriorated with each passing week.
    Some light showers are expected in eastern Kansas, eastern
Oklahoma and the far east of Texas on Thursday and Friday, but
totals will only range from 1/10 to 1/4 inch at best, said Don
Keeney, a meteorologist with MDA EarthSat Weather.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday its rating
of the winter wheat crop fell to 34 percent good-to-excellent,
below analysts' expectations, due to persistent dry conditions
in the U.S. Plains.
    The ratings were a record low for November and raised
questions about how healthy the crop will be when it emerges
from dormancy in the spring.
    Reduced soybean crop forecasts for Argentina and Brazil
supported oilseed futures.
    Oil World now forecasts Argentina will harvest 54.0 million
tonnes of soybeans in early 2013, down from the 56.0 million
tonnes it touted in October, but still up from the 40.5 million
tonnes harvested in early 2012.
    It estimated Brazil's harvest at 81.0 million tonnes of
soybeans in early 2013, down from 82.0 million tonnes predicted
in October, but also still up from 66.8 million tonnes harvested
in early 2012.
    More showers were expected in 90 percent of crop areas in
already-drenched Argentina. In Brazil, scattered showers are
expected in northern growing areas for the next 10 days, which
will benefit crops in that region, said Keeney.
    China, the world's top soy importer, is expected to set up
purchases from the overseas market with the government halting
the sale of state reserves.
    The nation will temporarily halt regular state soy sales
from this week as Beijing starts a domestic stockpiling
programme for the oilseed.
  Prices at  0318 GMT
  Contract        Last    Change  Pct chg  MA 30   RSI 
  CBOT wheat     845.00     0.00  +0.00%   872.58   38
  CBOT corn      742.75    -0.50  -0.07%   766.67   57
  CBOT soy      1407.00    -5.75  -0.41%  1577.44   35
  CBOT rice      $14.84   -$0.09  -0.57%   $15.46   52
  WTI crude      $87.08    $0.33  +0.38%   $88.88   51
  Euro/dlr       $1.280   $0.051  +4.16%   
  USD/AUD         1.037   -0.018  -1.72%   
  Most active contracts
  Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
  RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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