GRAINS-Wheat bounces from 3-1/2 year low; soy, corn firm

Mark Weinraub
Monday, 13 Jan 2014 | 11:43 AM ET

* Egypt purchase buoys wheat market

* Soybeans firm with good export interest

* Corn firms after early weakness

(Recasts, adds new analyst comments, updates with U.S. trading, changes byline/dateline) CHICAGO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose on Monday and were on track to snap a four-session losing streak, supported by a round of bargain buying and a pick-up in export demand, traders said. Firm export interest also boosted soybean futures and corn edged higher, following gains in the wheat market and receiving continued support from the U.S. government's smaller-than-expected production estimate. Wheat rebounded from a drop to 3-1/2 year lows that came after a closely watched U.S. Agriculture Department report on Friday said that domestic and global supplies were bigger than expected. The pullback in prices last week drew Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, into the market for a snap tender on Saturday that brought a sale of soft red winter wheat from the United States for shipment in Feb. 11-20. The deal marked the first purchase of U.S. wheat in 2013/14 by Egyptian state buyer GASC. "We've found a good fundamental support factor for wheat," one European trader said. At 10:30 a.m. CST (1630 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat for March delivery was up 5 cents at $5.74 a bushel. The benchmark wheat contract fell 6.1 percent during its four days of declines. CBOT March corn was up 1/4 cent at $4.33 a bushel. Prices had weakened early but found some technical support near their 50-day moving average of $4.30 a bushel. The USDA on Friday pegged 2013/14 U.S. corn production at 13.925 billion bushels, still a record but below its previous estimate and the consensus of analyst estimates, as it cut average yield rather than increasing it like the trade had anticipated. CBOT March soybeans were 9-1/2 cents higher at $12.88 a bushel. USDA said on Monday morning that U.S. export inspections for soybeans were 59.381 million bushels, beating forecasts for 45 million to 50 million bushels. USDA also said that private exporters reported the sale of 140,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations. Gains in soybeans were capped by good weather in South America. "Burgeoning harvest efforts in Brazil are making more product available and the country is not yet to the point of logistical problems," Sterling Smith, futures specialist for Citigroup, said in a note to clients. "Big South American crop ideas are also containing any upside ideas."

Prices at 10:30 a.m. CST (1630 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 432.75 0.00 0.0% 2.5% CBOT soy 1320.25 16.50 1.3% 0.6% CBOT meal 441.60 6.40 1.5% 0.9% CBOT soyoil 37.65 -0.30 -0.8% -3.0% CBOT wheat 573.25 4.25 0.8% -5.3% CBOT rice 1560.00 3.00 0.2% 0.6% #VALUE! US crude 92.06 -0.66 -0.7% -6.5% Dow Jones 16,416 -21 -0.1% -1.0% Gold 1250.91 4.21 0.3% 3.8% Euro/dollar 1.3646 -0.0021 -0.2% 0.0% Dollar Index 80.6680 0.0100 0.0% 0.8% Baltic Freight 1395 -117 -7.7% -38.7%

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 Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)