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GRAINS: Soybeans hit over one-week high, U.S. old-crop supply tightens

Firming U.S. cash soy values lift nearby futures, corn falls to fresh four-year low

Reuters — Front-month soybean futures rose to their highest level in more than a week on Wednesday, supported by firming U.S. cash markets as supplies of old-crop soybeans dwindle with the autumn harvest still about two months away, traders said.

Corn futures fell to a fresh four-year low while wheat was mixed in choppy trade.

At the Chicago Board of Trade as of 11:25 a.m. CDT (1625 GMT), August soybeans were up 14 cents at $11.98 per bushel, after reaching $12.04-3/4. The most-active November contract was up 12-1/2 cents at $10.70-1/4, rebounding after setting a contract low at $10.55.

August gained against back months on spreads as domestic crushers and exporters scrambled to cover their needs for the next few weeks, until the harvest of a likely record-large U.S. crop begins in September.

A drop of about 12 per cent in August futures over the last month has sidelined farmers with old-crop soybeans left to sell.

“The exporter has got boats to load, and you’ve got the farmer not selling anything. So pipeline is depleting. You are getting pushes from pretty much all the processors,” said Mike Hall with Illinois brokerage MLH Futures.

Additional support stemmed from worries about dry weather potentially limiting U.S. soybean yield as the crop nears its key pod-setting phase.

“They are putting in a little bit of risk premium, in case the forecast rain event for late this week and into the weekend fails to materialize,” said Tom Fritz, a partner with EFG Group in Chicago.

The U.S. corn crop is farther along, and corn futures sagged on expectations of a record yield given favorable conditions during corn pollination this month.

CBOT September corn was down 3/4 cent at $3.59-1/2 per bushel after falling to $3.57-1/2, a contract low and the lowest spot corn price on continuous charts since July 2010.

Lanworth, the crop forecasting unit of Thomson Reuters, raised its estimate of the 2014 U.S. corn yield to 172.8 bushels per acre, up from 172.1 a week ago and above the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s current estimate of 165.3. Lanworth pegged U.S. corn production at a record-high 14.6 billion bushels.

CBOT September wheat was up 1 cent at $5.25-1/2 a bushel, rebounding after setting a contract low at $5.20-1/4. Egypt’s main state wheat buyer purchased 235,000 tonnes of Russian, Romanian and Ukraine wheat at an international tender.

Scouts on an annual U.S. crop tour projected big spring wheat yields in southern North Dakota.

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