January 9, 2015 / 4:58 PM / 4 years ago

GRAINS-Corn, soy gain on export demand; wheat falls before USDA report

* U.S. wheat at 6-week low, faces stiff export competition
    * Corn steadies after three-day slide
    * Trade subdued ahead of USDA report

 (Updates with closing prices)
    By Mark Weinraub
    CHICAGO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean futures
firmed on Friday, supported by strong export demand, while wheat
weakened slightly as traders evened up positions ahead of a key
U.S. government report on crop production and supplies, traders
said.
    Corn posted the biggest gain, rallying 1.5 percent. A round
of pre-report short covering following three straight days of
declines added support.
    "Guys are getting lined up for that report," said Chris
Robinson, senior trader at Top Third Ag Marketing. "There was
not a big trading range." 
    On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will publish
its world grain supply and demand forecasts, quarterly U.S.
grain stocks estimates and a first estimate of the 2015 U.S.
wheat area.  
    Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat dipped to a
fresh six-week low during the overnight session, with U.S.
offerings seen too expensive to attract export business amid
ample global supplies.
    CBOT March wheat settled 3-1/4 cents lower at
$5.63-3/4 a bushel. Prices fell 3.2 percent this week, their
third straight week of declines.
    CBOT March corn was 6 cents higher at $4.00-1/4 a
bushel and posted a weekly gain of 1.1 percent. Front-month corn
 has risen in six of the past seven weeks.
    USDA said that private exporters reported the sale of
136,000 tonnes of corn to South Korea, as well as 116,000 tonnes
of sorghum to unknown destinations. 
    Traders noted some bargain buying in corn after the March
contract dipped below its 50-day moving average during the
overnight session. The contract has not closed below that key
technical level since October.
    CBOT soybeans for March delivery were 4 cents higher
at $10.52-1/4 a bushel. The front-month contract rose 4.9
percent this week, its biggest gain since late October.
 Name              Last      Pct Change  Net Change  Pvs Close
 CORN MAR5           400.25        1.52           6     394.25
 SOYBEANS JAN5       1051.5        0.62         6.5       1045
 SOY MEAL JAN5        363.8        0.69         2.5      361.3
 SOYBEAN OIL JAN5     33.54       -0.12       -0.04      33.58
 WHEAT SRW MAR5      563.75       -0.57       -3.25        567
 ROUGH RICE JAN5     11.325        0.27        0.03     11.295
 M.WHEAT EUR MAR5       195       -0.89       -1.75     196.75
 LIGHT CRUDE FEB5     48.37       -0.86       -0.42      48.79
 DJ INDU AVERAGE   17764.92        -0.8     -142.95   17907.87
 GOLD LBMA          1219.86  #N/A             11.23    1208.63
 BALTIC EXCH DRY        709       -2.07         -15        724
 US DOLLAR INDEX     91.929       -0.48      -0.439     92.368
 In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars).  

 (Additional reporting by Gus Trmpiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral
in Singapore; Editing by Joseph Radford, David Evans and Peter
Galloway)
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