GRAINS-Soy surges on China exports; technical buying boosts wheat

Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:59pm EST

* Soybeans rise on good export prospects
    * Corn flat, export demand supportive
    * CBOT wheat rises 1.5 percent, nears 50-day moving average


    By Mark Weinraub
    CHICAGO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures jumped 1.6
percent on Thursday to their highest in more than eight weeks,
spurred by technical buying and firm export demand, traders
said.
    A U.S. Agriculture Department report on Thursday morning
said export sales of soybeans fell below market expectations but
showed that China, the world's top buyer of the oilseed, was
still booking deals for U.S. cargoes even as newly harvested
South American supplies arrive at ports. 
    "I think it started when you didn't get cancellations to
China in the export sales," said Dan Cekander, analyst with
Newedge USA. "Even though it (the weekly soybean sales total)
was small, they still added 300,000 tonnes to the commitments."
    Concerns that domestic stocks will remain tight for the next
year also added further support to soybeans, traders said.
    "I think the main reason is because they really expect the
new crop acres for beans will keep the supply side very, very
tight in relation to the corn," said Mike Zuzolo, president of
Global Commodity Analytics.
    Wheat futures also firmed, rising on a technical bounce
after Wednesday's decline. Corn was close to unchanged, with
traders saying that strong export demand prevented a sharp
decline as the U.S. government's 10-year agricultural
projections cast a bearish tone over the market. 
    The U.S. Agriculture Department forecast the U.S. soybean
crop at 3.480 billion bushels for the 2014/15 crop year, based
on plantings of 78 million acres, with ending stocks rising to
just 203 million bushels. That compares with a crop of 2.289
billion bushels and ending stocks of 150 million bushels in the
2013/14 marketing year.
    By comparison, corn harvest for 2014/15 was seen at 14.260
billion bushels, with acreage forecast at 93.5 million and
ending stocks pegged at 2.607 billion. Corn production in the
2013/14 marketing year was 13.925 billion bushels with ending
stocks of 1.481 billion bushels. 
    Chicago Board of Trade March soybeans gained 21-1/4
cents to $13.44-1/4 a bushel. Prices hit their highest since
Dec. 18 during the session. 
    Concerns that dry weather in South America will curtail
plantings of a second soybean crop in the coming weeks and tight
soymeal supplies around the United States added further support.
    "We saw some rain that provided a little relief (in Brazil)
but that relief is only transitory," said Sterling Smith,
futures specialist with Citigroup. "We are going to fall back
into a drier pattern next week."
    CBOT March corn settled up 1/2 cent at $4.40-1/2 a
bushel while CBOT March soft red winter wheat gained 8-1/2
cents to $5.95-1/2 a bushel. March wheat found support after
dipping close to its 40-day moving average early in the session,
but the chart-driven buying ran out of steam as prices neared
the 50-day moving average, a key technical benchmark the
contract has not surpassed since Nov. 4.
        
Prices at 1:53 p.m. CST (1953 GMT)      
                             LAST      NET    PCT     YTD
                                       CHG    CHG     CHG
CBOT corn            440.50     0.50   0.1%    4.4%
CBOT soy            1344.25    21.25   1.6%    2.4%
CBOT meal           452.80     9.30   2.1%    3.4%
CBOT soyoil          39.54     0.55   1.4%    1.9%
CBOT wheat           595.50     8.50   1.5%   -1.6%
CBOT rice          1571.00     8.50   0.5%    1.3%
EU wheat           196.75     1.00   0.5%   -5.9%
                                                         
US crude            100.29    -0.08  -0.1%    1.9%
Dow Jones           16,036       72   0.5%   -3.3%
Gold               1299.26     8.62   0.7%    7.8%
Euro/dollar         1.3673   0.0081   0.6%    0.2%
Dollar Index       80.3310  -0.3480  -0.4%    0.4%
Baltic Freight       1097       12   1.1%  -51.8%
 
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel,
rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb.
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