GRAINS -U.S. wheat rises, pulls corn and soybeans higher
* CBOT wheat up 1.1 pct, flirts with 3-1/2 month high
* Corn follows, but gains checked by harvest
* Soybeans close to unchanged
(Updates with closing prices, adds new analyst quote) CHICAGO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose on Monday as expectations of production declines in Russia and Ukraine put a premium on high-protein supplies, traders said. Corn futures also firmed, following the strength in wheat, while soybeans were close to unchanged. Wheat's gains put it close to a 3-1/2 month high, resuming a bullish trend that began in September as global export demand perked up. The front-month Chicago Board of Trade contract rose 5.5 percent during September, its biggest monthly gain of the year. "You have got the headlines from the Black Sea overnight on the potential acreage cuts," said Garrett Toay, risk management consultant at Toay Commodities Futures Group in Des Moines, Iowa "That has been rumoured about for some time." CBOT December soft red winter wheat settled up 7-3/4 cents at $6.94-3/4 a bushel. CBOT wheat has risen for 13 of the last 16 trading sessions. "Wheat has transitioned from a follower role to a strong performer, despite ample global supply, as key buyers seek out quality and protein," Deutsche Bank said in a market note. The recent run-up in wheat has forced investors to unwind their bearish bets on the commodity. "Even without a Commitments of Traders report out, it is still widely assumed that the speculators are net short, and that is a positive," said Chad Henderson, a grain market adviser at Prime Agricultural Consultants in Brookfield, Wisconsin. CBOT December corn was 6 cents higher at $4.49-1/4 a bushel, although gains were kept in check by pressure from the U.S. harvest. CBOT November soybeans gained 1-1/2 cents to $12.96-1/2 a bushel. Some rainy weather across a broad stretch of the Untied States kept harvest progress in check during the past week, but farmers were expected to pick up the pace in the coming days as fields dry out. The corn harvest was likely 20 percent complete as of Oct. 6, according to the average of 11 estimates in a Reuters poll of analysts. Soybean harvest was pegged at 22 percent complete. The U.S. Agriculture Department typically provides an update on harvest on Monday afternoons, but no report was expected this week due to the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. The USDA, which did provide weekly export inspections data on a government website on Monday morning, said it will not issue its monthly crop report and world supply and demand estimates on Friday because of the shutdown. No new date was set for the release of the much anticipated report, which would have incorporated yield reports from U.S. farmers in the data.
The area sown to winter wheat in Ukraine and Russia, both major exporters, is set to fall, signalling more risks for next year's global supply.
Prices at 1:37 p.m. CDT (1837 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 449.25 6.00 1.4% -35.7% CBOT soy 1296.50 1.50 0.1% -8.6% CBOT meal 433.60 2.30 0.5% 3.1% CBOT soyoil 39.65 -0.34 -0.9% -19.3% CBOT wheat 694.75 7.75 1.1% -10.7% CBOT rice 1482.50 -4.50 -0.3% -0.2% EU wheat 196.25 1.75 0.9% -21.6% US crude 102.98 -0.86 -0.8% 12.2% Dow Jones 14,996 -77 -0.5% 14.4% Gold 1321.40 10.79 0.8% -21.1% Euro/dollar 1.3577 0.002 0.1% 2.9% Dollar Index 79.9540 -0.1680 -0.2% 0.2% Baltic Freight 2115 31 1.5% 202.6%
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 Nigel Hunt in London)