GRAINS-Wheat gains on short covering, brightening export hopes
* CBOT wheat rises for eighth time in 10 sessions
* Soybeans pressured as recent rain improved harvest outlook
* Corn firms on wheat strength
(Recasts with U.S. trading, updates prices, adds new analyst quote, byline dateline, pvs PARIS/SYDNEY) CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose 1 percent on Monday, supported by rising global demand as well as a round of short covering, traders said. Corn futures edged higher on spillover strength from the wheat market but soybeans dipped amid hopes that some recent rain across key growing areas of the U.S. Midwest could boost final harvest yields. The gains in Chicago Board of Trade wheat were the eighth in the last 10 sessions but traders said that there was still a bearish tone hanging over the market due to abundant supplies. The rally of the last two weeks has been modest, with prices for the benchmark contract still just 22 cents above a 14-month low. "You are seeing a little bit of short-covering," said Chris Robinson, senior trader and analyst at Top Third Ag Marketing. "It could just be a short term blip." The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its latest report on Friday that large speculators held their biggest bearish bet in CBOT wheat since May 2012, leaving the market ripe for short covering any time that prices tick higher. CBOT December soft red winter wheat was up 7-1/2 cents at $6.53-3/4 a bushel by 11:02 a.m. CDT (1602 GMT). The China National Grain and Oils Information Center increased its projections for Chinese import demand to 7.5 million tonnes, having previously pegged imports at 6.5 million tonnes. The revised figure would be the highest imports for China in a decade. Bad weather that damaged the Chinese harvest in May and June has boosted demand for U.S. wheat. However, U.S. wheat, which is still more expensive than supplies from most other parts of the world, will have to compete with a hefty Canadian crop on international markets and internally, French analyst Agritel noted. CBOT December corn was up 2-1/2 cents at $4.53-1/2 a bushel. Traders said that gains in corn were restrained by seasonal harvest pressure. CBOT November soybeans fell 3-1/4 cents to $13.12 a bushel, hitting their lowest level since Aug. 21. Rain across broad areas of the U.S. Midwest last week likely improved prospects for some late-maturing soybeans, which should be reflected in the U.S. government's weekly rating of the crop Monday afternoon, analysts said. Soybean ratings were seen rising 1 percentage point to 51 percent good to excellent as of Sept. 22, according to the average of estimates from nine analysts in a Reuters poll. The U.S. Agriculture Department will release its latest assessment of the crop at 3 p.m. CDT (2000 GMT). Prices at 11:03 a.m. CDT (1603 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 453.75 2.75 0.6% -35.0% CBOT soy 1311.75 -3.50 -0.3% -7.5% CBOT meal 413.70 0.30 0.1% -1.6% CBOT soyoil 41.90 -0.19 -0.5% -14.8% CBOT wheat 653.50 7.25 1.1% -16.0% CBOT rice 1552.50 -2.00 -0.1% 4.5% EU wheat 186.75 1.00 0.5% -25.4% US crude 103.86 -0.89 -0.9% 13.1% Dow Jones 15,395 -56 -0.4% 17.5% Gold 1328.06 3.07 0.2% -20.7% Euro/dollar 1.3496 -0.0026 -0.2% 2.3% Dollar Index 80.4350 0.0040 0.0% 0.8% Baltic Freight 1947 43 2.3% 178.5%
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 Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Marguerita Choy)