UPDATE 2-GRAINS-U.S. wheat firms on short-covering bounce
* CBOT wheat rises for eighth time in 10 sessions
* Soybeans falls to lowest in more than a month after rains
* Corn follows wheat higher
(Updates with closing prices, adds new analyst quote) CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose 1.1 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 settled up 7-1/4 cents at $6.53-1/2 a bushel. Volume was light, with only about 52,000 contracts trading during the session, about half of the 250-day average. 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 2-1/4 cents at $4.53-1/4 a bushel. Traders said that gains in corn were restrained by seasonal harvest pressure. "The weekend yield reports have not changed much, the boys in the fields are still pretty happy about what they are getting, and it is generally coming in at or a bit above expectations," Charlie Sernatinger of ED&F Man Capital said in a research note to clients. CBOT November soybeans fell 7-1/2 cents to $13.07-3/4 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 1:48 p.m. CDT (1848 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 453.25 2.25 0.5% -35.1% CBOT soy 1307.75 -7.50 -0.6% -7.8% CBOT meal 411.10 -2.30 -0.6% -2.3% CBOT soyoil 41.97 -0.12 -0.3% -14.6% CBOT wheat 653.50 7.25 1.1% -16.0% CBOT rice 1553.50 -1.00 -0.1% 4.5% EU wheat 187.00 1.25 0.7% -25.3% US crude 103.59 -1.17 -1.1% 12.8% Dow Jones 15,402 -49 -0.3% 17.5% Gold 1325.11 0.12 0.0% -20.9% Euro/dollar 1.3497 -0.0025 -0.2% 2.3% Dollar Index 80.4380 0.0070 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)