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GRAINS-Soybeans rise as harvest slows; corn, wheat fall

Mark Weinraub
Wednesday, 6 Nov 2013 | 3:21 PM ET

* Corn hits 3-year low on forecast for record harvest

* Wheat lowest in six weeks; Egypt bypasses U.S. supplies

* Soybeans bounce from 20-month low

(Updates with closing prices, adds details on corn streak, Egypt tender)

CHICAGO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose on Wednesday after four straight sessions of declines, buoyed by strength in the cash market and by harvest slowdowns, traders said.

Corn and wheat futures weakened, setting new lows, on expectations that a huge corn harvest will lead to a glut of grain in the United States, traders said. Corn has fallen for six sessions in a row, its longest losing streak since late July.

Traders noted some bargain buying in soybean futures, which sank this week to their lowest levels since February 2012 before rains knocked farmers out of the fields and brought harvest to a halt.

"Precipitation will be seen across the Midwest over the next two days and this will create some harvest delays," Sterling Smith, futures specialist with Citi, said in a note to clients. "Beans continue to be difficult for processors to originate in some areas and this is mildly supportive to the board."

A storm system brought 0.25 inch to 1.50 inches of rainfall across a broad swath of the Midwest on Tuesday and Wednesday, with snow in northern areas, World Weather Inc said. The precipitation will force farmers to keep their combines parked in barns but dry weather is forecast from Thursday into early next week, which will provide a window for harvesting.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybean futures, the most actively traded contract, settled up 4-3/4 cents at $12.55 a bushel. CBOT November soybeans, which expire on Nov. 14, were 3-3/4 cents higher at $12.63 a bushel.

Strong export demand also supported soybean futures, along with uncertainty about production from countries in the southern hemisphere during the next few months.

"If you get a good Brazilian crop, then prices will most probably be bearish from here, but while this is not a certainty there is a risk to the upside, especially given the current strength of demand," Macquarie analyst Chris Gadd said.

Traders were reluctant to stake out large positions ahead of the U.S. Agriculture Department's supply and demand report on Friday. The report, the first since September due to the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government last month, was expected to forecast a record corn crop.

"We might see some near-term support for corn as we see some of the speculators cashing out of their short positions at these lower prices but the reality is we've just had an enormous corn harvest and lower prices are likely required to find demand," Macquarie's Gadd said.

CBOT December corn was down 3-3/4 cents at $4.21-1/4 a bushel, with the front-month contract hitting its lowest since Aug. 31, 2010 during the session. CBOT December wheat was off 2-3/4 cents at $6.53-1/4 a bushel. The front-month contract bottomed out at $6.52-1/4, the lowest since Sept. 24.

Egypt's GASC bought 60,000 tonnes of wheat from Romania in a tender for shipment in December. The country, which is the world's biggest importer of wheat, paid $300.23 per tonne in the deal.

Prices at 1:52 p.m. CST (1952 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD

CHG CHG CHG

CBOT corn 421.25 -3.75 -0.9% -33.0% CBOT soy 1263.00 3.75 0.3% -9.4% CBOT meal 396.80 4.00 1.0% 7.2% CBOT soyoil 41.14 -0.01 0.0% -28.7% CBOT wheat 653.25 -2.75 -0.4% -17.8% CBOT rice 1554.50 19.00 1.2% 11.1% EU wheat 202.25 0.25 0.1% -19.9% US crude 94.85 1.48 1.6% 3.8% Dow Jones 15,737 119 0.8% 35.9% Gold 1316.40 5.41 0.4% -7.3% Euro/dollar 1.3519 0.0045 0.3% 1.3% Dollar Index 80.4930 -0.2130 -0.3% 1.9% Baltic Freight 1602 2 0.1% -9.6%

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 Sam Nelson in Chicago and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by David Gregorio and Bob Burgdorfer)