GRAINS-U.S. wheat drops 1.5 pct as export demand dries up
* CBOT wheat trading at 13-1/2 month low
* Beneficial crop weather view weighs on corn
* Bargain buying supports soybeans
(Updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote, changes byline, dateline (previously HAMBURG/SINGAPORE) CHICAGO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures sank on Wednesday to their lowest levels since June 2012 as overseas buyers turned to other countries to supply their import needs, traders said. Corn also fell, pressured by expectations for a bumper harvest this fall. Soybean contracts edged higher on short-covering, but gains were restrained by bearish harvest forecasts. Weakening cash markets, which also reflected the wilting export demand, added to the weight on wheat prices. The benchmark Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat contract has dropped 3.6 percent so far this month. "There has been little in the way of export developments and weather in global growing areas is not threatening enough to cause a rally," Sterling Smith, futures specialist at Citi Futures, said. At 10:42 a.m. CDT (1542 GMT), CBOT September wheat was off 9-3/4 cents at $6.40-3/4 a bushel, slightly above the session low of $6.39. The last time CBOT wheat prices traded lower was on June 19, 2012, when the market bottomed out at $6.28-1/4 a bushel. Despite the drop, U.S. wheat still remains too pricey to be competitive on the global market. Iraq's state grains bought 150,000 tonnes of wheat from Australia and Canada, European traders said on Wednesday. Egypt and Jordan also have booked wheat purchases this week, bypassing U.S. supplies for cheaper offers from countries such as Romania and Ukraine. "While the pace of U.S. export sales remains above what is needed to hit the USDA estimate, this will slow down quickly," INTL FCStone said research note to clients. CBOT corn for September delivery dropped 3-1/4 cents to $4.69 a bushel. Prices were hovering slightly above the near-three-year low of $4.65-1/2 set earlier this week. CBOT August soybeans were up 4-1/2 cents at $13.28-3/4 a bushel. The front-month contract dropped to 13.13-3/4 a bushel, its lowest since March 2012, before being propped up by bargain buying and short covering. New-crop November soybeans were up 1/2 cent at $11.67-3/4 a bushel. "The positive harvest outlook in the United States is continuing to provide a weak mood in soybean, corn and wheat markets," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank. "There is no respite to the positive U.S. crop news with the weather behaving really well and supporting the outlook for bumper harvests." Moderate temperatures and overall satisfactory soil moisture will boost corn and soybean crop development in the U.S. crop belt over the next two weeks, MDA Weather Services said on Wednesday. Prices at 10:40 a.m. CDT (1540 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 469.00 -3.25 -0.7% -32.8% CBOT soy 1327.25 3.00 0.2% -6.4% CBOT meal 397.50 1.50 0.4% -5.5% CBOT soyoil 41.97 -0.14 -0.3% -14.6% CBOT wheat 640.75 -9.75 -1.5% -17.6% CBOT rice 1554.50 -15.00 -1.0% 4.6% EU wheat 183.50 -0.75 -0.4% -26.7% US crude 105.02 -0.28 -0.3% 14.4% Dow Jones 15,435 -83 -0.5% 17.8% Gold 1286.11 4.82 0.4% -23.2% Euro/dollar 1.3330 0.0025 0.2% 1.0% Dollar Index 81.3090 -0.2940 -0.4% 1.9% Baltic Freight 1024 -22 -2.1% 46.5%
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 Michael Hogan in Hamburg; editing by Jim Marshall)