October 15, 2014 / 10:29 AM / 6 years ago

GRAINS-U.S. corn declines on profit-taking after six-week high

* Corn, soy pressured by improving U.S. harvest weather
    * Soy market choppy, rallying at times on export demand
    * Wheat turns lower, retreats from 1-month top as corn sags

 (Updates with closing prices)
    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade corn
futures fell on Wednesday as traders booked profits following a
two-day surge, driven by U.S. harvest delays, that lifted the
market to a six-week high, brokers said.
    Soybeans declined along with corn on profit-taking and
improving weather for fieldwork. Wheat followed the lower trend,
reversing early gains tied to a setback in the U.S. dollar.
    At the CBOT, December corn settled down 9-1/2 cents at
$3.47-1/2 per bushel after climbing to $3.58-1/4, its highest
level in six weeks. 
    November soybeans ended down 12-1/4 cents at $9.52-1/2
a bushel and December wheat settled down 3-1/4 cents at
$5.06 a bushel.
    Corn and soybeans were pressured by forecasts for clearing
skies in the U.S. Midwest after a week of rain that stalled
fieldwork, especially in southern areas. Producers are expected
to pick up the harvest pace through the end of this month.
    "The rains have moved off to the east of the Corn Belt. You
now have 15 days of sunshine in front of you. The western belt
will start harvesting corn heavily. They are still doing beans
now," said Roy Huckabay of the Linn Group, a Chicago brokerage.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the U.S. soybean
harvest was 40 percent complete as of Sunday, well above market
expectations for 31 percent, but behind the five-year average of
53 percent.  
    The corn harvest was farther behind, at 24 percent, compared
with the five-year average of 43 percent.
    Soybean futures turned down after a choppy session, trading
higher at times on support from robust export demand and
profitable cash crushing margins in the United States and China.
    "The export demand is strong. We have got record sales on
the books as we start the 2014/15 crop year," said Brian
Basting, an analyst with Advance Trading in Bloomington,
    CBOT December wheat rose to $5.16-1/4 a bushel, its
highest level in a month, before retreating late in the session
as corn sagged.
    Losses were mitigated by a weaker dollar, which makes
dollar-denominated grains more attractive to those holding other
currencies. The greenback fell against a basket of currencies
after weak U.S. economic data heightened concerns that the
Federal Reserve would delay its first rate hike. 
    "That currency market has been a friend to the wheat market
here. It's making us more competitive," said Mike Zuzolo of
Global Commodity Analytics in Atchison, Kansas.

 Prices at 12:13 p.m. CDT (1713 GMT)                
                              LAST      NET    PCT  
                                        CHG    CHG  
 CBOT corn                  352.25    -4.75  -1.3%  
 CBOT soy                   963.00    -1.75  -0.2%  
 CBOT meal                  327.40     3.40   1.1%  
 CBOT soyoil                 32.34    -0.53  -1.6%  
 CBOT wheat                 513.00     3.75   0.7%  
 (Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Colin
Packham in Sydney; editing by David Clarke, Gunna Dickson and
Bernard Orr)
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