Wheat rises for third day, lingers near 18-day high

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U.S. wheat rose for a third day on Tuesday as forecasts for potential unfavourable weather pushed the grain near a 18-day high. Corn edged lower, while soybeans also fell despite signs of strong demand for U.S. supplies.

The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.3 percent to $4.59-3/4 a bushel by 0258 GMT, having closed up 1.1 percent on Monday when prices hit $4.62-1/2 a bushel, the highest since Feb. 16.

Wheat was supported by dry conditions hampering crop development in the U.S. Plains, traders said. Concerns are increasing about the early emergence of U.S. winter wheat, which would leave the crop vulnerable to a cold snap in the next few weeks.

“The forecasters expect little rain and unseasonably warm temperatures for the next week or so in U.S. hard red winter wheat regions,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“The hard red winter crop still has time on its side but a consistent rise in night temperatures would transform the lack of moisture from a worry to a problem.” Wheat also drew support from signs of growing demand for U.S. supplies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday reported that weekly export inspections of wheat totalled 535,920 tonnes, near the high end of market forecasts. Wheat has been under sustained pressure in recent months amid ample global supplies, though major exporters are likely to see reduced production next season.

Australia’s 2017/18 wheat crop is expected to fall 32 percent on drier conditions, the country’s chief commodity forecaster said on Monday. Farmers in the world’s No. 4 exporter will harvest 23.98 million tonnes of wheat, the Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Rural Sciences forecast.

The most active corn futures fell 0.1 percent to $3.78-1/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.6 percent in the previous session. The most active soybean futures fell 0.1 percent to $10.36 a bushel, having closed little changed on Monday. Soybean export inspections were a bigger-than-expected 921,779 tonnes.

Dry weather improved conditions on a rugged Amazon road that serves as the key link between soy fields and northern ports, ending an immense backlog of trucks carrying the beans, the Army said on Monday.

[reuters]

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