* Indonesia buys 25,000 T of Australian standard wheat
* Indian soymeal prices jump on Iranian demand
* Australian wheat prices slide, US little changed
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, March 8 Indonesia bought 25,000
tonnes of Australian wheat for May shipment as global prices
continued to slide this week, with improving weather across the
U.S. grain belt and other producing regions boosting supply
Indian soymeal prices jumped this week on strong demand from
Iran which now accounts for the bulk of the country's exports of
the animal feed ingredient.
Indonesia paid around $350 a tonne, including cost and
freight (C&F), for Australian standard wheat to be shipped in
May, said traders, adding that Thai flour millers are likely to
be in the market for May arrival wheat.
"Prices have fallen but we haven't seen a big pick up in
Asian demand," said one Singapore-based trader who sells U.S.
and Australian wheat in Asia. "Indonesia bought one cargo and we
expect Thailand to cover for May shipment."
Chicago Board of Trade front-month wheat is heading
for a 3.5 percent loss this week, its seventh straight week of
declines on improved supply prospects in the United States.
Winter wheat growers in the U.S. Plains were enjoying
improved soil-moisture conditions in some key growing areas as
the region's drought levels continued to retreat.
Drought conditions improved because of recent snowstorms in
top U.S. wheat producer Kansas as well as in Nebraska, Oklahoma
and Colorado, also key wheat-production states.
Australia, the world's second-largest wheat exporter after
the United States, forecast production in the 2013/14 marketing
year will rise 13 percent from the previous year, boosted by
increased planting and higher yields from better growing
As a result, Australian wheat prices slipped in the cash
Australian prime wheat was quoted at $355 a tonne, C&F, down
from last week's $365 a tonne and standard wheat was being
offered around $350 a tonne compared with $355-$360 quoted last
week. Australian hard wheat, with 12 percent protein, was quoted
at $365 a tonne, down from $380 a tonne.
U.S. wheat prices in Asia's physical market were largely
unchanged despite Chicago futures losing more ground, traders
"There was lack of farmer selling in the U.S. as some people
have started feeling that the wheat market has been oversold," a
second Singapore-based wheat trader said.
U.S. soft white wheat was quoted around $355-$360 a tonne,
C&F, to Southeast Asia while hard red winter wheat was being
offered at $370 a tonne. U.S. dark northern spring wheat was
offered around $400 a tonne.
PRICEY INDIAN SOYMEAL
Indian soymeal is being quoted around $590-$600 a tonne,
C&F, to Southeast Asia, an increase of about $15 from last week.
This compares with Argentine high-protein meal being offered
around $525 a tonne for April-May shipment.
"There are no takers for Indian soymeal in Asia at these
prices," said one feed grains trader in Singapore. "Usually
Indian soymeal is at $15-$20 discount to Argentine meal."
Traders said the bulk of the Indian soymeal was destined for
Iran, whose demand had resulted in the prices firming.
Asian buyers are looking forward to a rebound in soybean
supplies from South America but port congestion in Brazil is
Some traders said waiting times for ships at Brazilian ports
had risen to almost two months.
Importers are awaiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture
monthly report on supply-demand for farm products which is due
at 1700 GMT.
Analysts expect the USDA to lower its forecasts for end-year
2012/13 U.S. and global soybean stocks. It is expected to
increase supply estimates for wheat and corn in its report.
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)