GRAINS-U.S. soy up on technical buying, yield concerns; corn, wheat dip
* Heat, dryness raises worries about cut to soy harvest
* Wheat falls on profit taking, export concerns
* Corn futures fall as traders square positions
(Recasts with early U.S. trading, new analyst quote, changes byline, dateline, pvs HAMBURG) CHICAGO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose on Thursday, supported by technical buying as well as worries that dry weather in western areas of the U.S. Midwest and high temperatures will reduce the size of this year's harvest. Corn futures were slightly lower, with consolidation trade and position squaring a major feature ahead of the upcoming U.S. Labor Day holiday On Monday, as well as the end of the month. Corn was more mature than soybeans and better positioned to withstand the heat, which kept it from rallying even with temperatures rising. Wheat futures fell as traders locked in profits amid concerns that U.S. wheat was too pricey to compete on the world market. The price declines erased nearly all of the gains piled up on the back of corn and soy rallies early this week. "The soy complex is really the only one that has got any fresh news that is really worth talking about," said Karl Setzer, analyst for MaxYield Cooperative. "There is still time for some loss on soybean yields. Whatever damage that is going to be done to the corn has already been done." The recent stretch of hot weather will likely cut down the size of the final U.S. soybean harvest, Setzer said, and force the U.S. Agriculture Department to tighten up its balance sheet. At 10:40 a.m. CDT (1540 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade September soybean futures were up 13-3/4 cents at $14.46-3/4 per bushel. The new-crop November contract was 2-1/2 cents higher at $13.75-1/4 a bushel. First notice day for the September contract is on Friday. Expectations for no deliveries added support to prices. The weather forecast calls for temperatures to remain in the 90s Fahrenheit (32-38 degrees Celsius) across much of the Corn Belt for the next few days. The next good chance for a widespread rain will come on Sunday or Monday, with showers totaling between 0.2 to 0.8 inch (0.5-2 cm) of rain in northern and eastern parts of the Crop Belt, missing parched areas of west of the Mississippi River. Those storms will likely be the last chance to boost crop health. "By the time we get to next weekend, it is a question of how much good the rain will do for the crops," said John Dee, meteorologist at Global Weather Monitoring. CBOT September corn was down 3-1/4 cents at $5.01 a bushel. The new-crop December contract dropped 1-1/4 cents to $4.79-1/2 a bushel. CBOT September wheat was off 5-3/4 cents at $6.40-3/4 a bushel. The contract bottomed out at $6.40-1/2, just 1/2 cent above the weekly low hit on Monday. U.S. wheat was not even offered in the latest tender by Egypt because it was too expensive compared with supplies from other countries. Egypt, the largest importer of the grain, bought 295,000 tonnes of Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian wheat for October shipment in a deal announced on Wednesday.
"The U.S. and west Europe does not look competitive in the key Egyptian wheat market and prices will have to move down sharply if more business is to be expected in the Middle East against tough Russian and Ukrainian competition," a trader said. The grains complex was also undermined by a stronger dollar, which makes U.S. grains more expensive in export markets, coupled with weaker oil prices.
Prices at 10:40 a.m. CDT (1540 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 494.50 -2.75 -0.6% -29.2% CBOT soy 1364.00 14.25 1.0% -3.9% CBOT meal 471.30 8.00 1.7% 12.1% CBOT soyoil 43.75 -0.56 -1.3% -11.0% CBOT wheat 634.00 -6.00 -0.9% -18.5% CBOT rice 1597.00 -64.00 -3.9% 7.5% EU wheat 188.00 -1.25 -0.7% -24.9% US crude 109.30 -0.8 -0.7% 19.0% Dow Jones 14,905 81 0.5% 13.7% Gold 1406.40 -11.24 -0.8% -16.0% Euro/dollar 1.3229 -0.0109 -0.8% 0.3% Dollar Index 82.0110 0.5800 0.7% 2.8% Baltic Freight 1136 -10 -0.9% 62.5%
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 Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Michael Hogan in Hamburg; Editing by Marguerita Choy)