GRAINS-U.S. wheat rises; corn and soy also firm
* CBOT wheat rises as crop struggles in dry U.S. Plains
* Soybeans bounce, find support at $15 a bushel
* U.S. election, Friday's USDA report confine the trading range
(Adds analyst comment and updates prices) CHICAGO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose for the second day in a row o n T uesday amid concerns over the poor condition of the just-planted winter crop in the United States and weather trouble in major exporters Australia and Argentina. Soybean futures also rose, bouncing back from two down days that saw prices fall 3.6 percent. Soybeans have tumbled 15 percent from the record they hit in early September, but found support near $15 a bushel. Corn markets edged higher on support from the gains in soybeans and wheat. Traders were expecting an increase in demand for U.S. wheat amid production problems in Australia and Argentina, and tightening supplies in Black Sea countries such as Ukraine. U.S. wheat export prices were becoming more competitive as well, the traders said. ``I have noticed that recently the U.S. has been a little bit uncompetitive in the market against other suppliers but that gap has narrowed and there is an expectation for increased demand for U.S. wheat,'' Greg Grow, director of agribusiness at brokerage Archer Financial Services. At 12:01 p.m. CST (1801 GMT) Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat was up 7-1/2 cents at $8.73-1/2 a bushel. Wheat ran into resistance at its 50-day moving average of $8.76-1/2 a bushel. The December contract has not traded above that key technical benchmark since Oct. 25. ``Wheat conditions are still in the backdrop,'' said Joe Davis, vice president of commodity sales at Futures International LLC. ``With no rain in the forecast, they are kind of leading the whole complex higher. With the dryness in the Great Plains, I would expect to see further deterioration.'' CBOT January soybeans were 13-3/4 cents higher at $15.17 a bushel and CBOT December corn was up 3-1/4 cents at $7.38-3/4 a bushel. ``Soybeans had been oversold so there is some bargain buying,'' said Sterling Smith, futures specialist with Citigroup. ``The $15 area has definitely proven to be a solid line in the sand, they don't want it below that level.'' The $15-a-bushel level represented a 62 percent Fibonacci retracement of the summer rally that pushed soybeans to an all-time high of $17.94-3/4 a bushel. A weak dollar and firm crude oil market also added to the bullish tone hanging over the grains market and encouraged investors to boost the amount of risky assets they were holding in their portfolios. Despite the gains, prices for all three commodities were expected to stay inside recent trading ranges due to uncertainty over Tuesday's U.S. presidential election outcome and a monthly U.S. Agriculture Department supply and demand report on Friday.
Weekly U.S. crop ratings showed a record low for winter wheat at this point of the season, as dryness continued to hamper key growing states. Adverse weather also continued to raise uncertainty about wheat harvests in Argentina and Australia. U.S. wheat ratings fell to 39 percent good to excellent from 40 percent in the previous week a s the health of the crop deteriorated due to dry conditions in the southern U.S. Plains, weekly USDA data released on Monday showed. This was the lowest-ever wheat rating for early November, although it was in line with analysts' expectations. ``We are early into the season and a lot can happen but certainly having such poor ratings at this point, particularly through the key hard red winter wheat belt, does raise the odds we will have lower than normal yields,'' said Luke Mathews, a commodities strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The wheat market has been worried in recent weeks about weather-affected growing seasons in South America and Australia, where wheat harvesting is now in progress. Australia is bracing for rains this week in its eastern grain belt, which could hit quality with the harvest in full swing. Analysts expect the USDA to raise its soybean production estimate in its monthly crop report, reflecting late rain that allowed a partial recovery in yields after severe summer drought, although this additional supply would be absorbed by strong demand for the oilseed. In corn, the USDA's harvest estimate was expected to stabilize after falling sharply during the past four months due to the drought in the U.S. Midwest. Prices at 12:05 p.m. CST (1805 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 738.75 3.25 0.4% 14.3% CBOT soy 1520.75 16.50 1.1% 26.9% CBOT meal 471.80 2.80 0.6% 52.5% CBOT soyoil 48.66 0.34 0.7% -6.6% CBOT wheat 873.50 7.50 0.9% 33.8%EU wheat 274.00 3.00 1.1% 35.3%US crude 87.93 2.28 2.7% -11.0% Dow Jones 13,267 155 1.2% 8.6% Gold 1717.09 33.10 2.0% 9.8% Euro/dollar 1.2819 0.0024 0.2% -1.0% Dollar Index 80.6090 -0.1400 -0.2% 0.5% Baltic Freight 947 -24 -2.5% -45.5%
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.
(Additional reporting by Sam Nelson in Chicago, Valerie Parent and Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Grant McCool)