GRAINS-Corn eases on forecasts for dry U.S. harvest weather
* Midwest weather seen mostly dry over next 2 weeks
* Big corn crop weighs on prices, export demand supports
* Wheat down for second day on good planting weather
* Soybeans extend earlier gains on technical buying
(Updates with soybeans extending gains, updates prices) CHICAGO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures fell on Wednesday, for the first time in three sessions, as forecasts for mostly dry harvest weather over the next week weighed on the market, although good export demand due to prices near three-year lows limited declines. Wheat drifted lower for a second day, pressured by sinking corn and improved crop weather in key production areas. Soybeans clawed back the prior day's modest losses amid support from the rising soyoil market and extended gains near midday on technical buying as the actively traded November contract rose above its 200-day moving average. Trading volumes were modest, and prices held within a narrow range as the partial U.S. government shutdown, now in its 16th day, deprived the market of key U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The USDA said it would decide by the end of this week whether it would cancel its delayed Oct. 11 report.
Meanwhile, mostly clear harvest weather expected over the next two weeks should allow many Midwest farmers to finish gathering a bumper U.S. soybean crop and probably a record-large corn crop. "The market is just drifting like a ship without a compass," said Citigroup futures specialist Sterling Smith. "With the lack of not just the big USDA reports but the daily data flows, the opaqueness gets thicker with each passing day, and everyone's waiting to see what we get out of the government today." Senate leaders announced that they reached a bipartisan deal on Wednesday to raise the country's debt ceiling and end the shutdown, expected to be approved by the House of Representatives later in the day. Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures were down 1-1/2 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $4.42 per bushel by 11:49 a.m. CDT (1649 GMT) and CBOT December wheat shed 3-3/4 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $6.82 a bushel. CBOT November soybeans rose 12 cents, or 1 percent, to $12.79 a bushel. Technical buying above the 200-day moving average of $12.73-1/4 accelerated gains at midmorning. The lowest U.S. corn prices in three years reignited demand from importers such as China, which has been in the market in recent weeks. China, the world's second-largest corn consumer, has bought as much as 300,000 tonnes of the grain from the United States this week, trade sources said. The wheat market remained weighed down by talk of India's reducing export prices to boost sales and improved planting weather in Russia, Ukraine and the United States. "The winter wheat regions will make good planting progress over the next two weeks due to limited rains, and temperatures should not be cold enough to hamper germination," said Commodity Weather Group meteorologist Joel Widenor.
Prices at 11:51 a.m. CDT (1651 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 443.00 -0.50 -0.1% -36.6% CBOT soy 1277.50 10.50 0.8% -10.0% CBOT meal 403.10 0.90 0.2% -4.2% CBOT soyoil 41.55 0.89 2.2% -15.5% CBOT wheat 682.25 -3.50 -0.5% -12.3% CBOT rice 1538.00 -10.00 -0.7% 3.5% EU wheat 198.50 -1.00 -0.5% -20.7% US crude 102.39 1.18 1.2% 11.5% Dow Jones 15,348 180 1.2% 17.1% Gold 1280.76 .57 0.0% -23.5% Euro/dollar 1.3513 -0.0010 -0.1% 2.4% Dollar Index 80.5790 0.0970 0.1% 1.0%
(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Veronica Brown in London, and Sam Nelson in Chicago; Editing by William Hardy, Lisa Von Ahn and Marguerita Choy)