October 17, 2019 / 6:21 PM / a month ago

GRAINS-U.S. wheat futures near 3-month high; soy and corn also rise

 (Recasts, updates prices, adds analyst comments, changes
dateline previously LONDON)
    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures hit their
highest level in nearly three months on Thursday as signs of
rising global cash prices prompted a round of short covering,
traders said.
    Corn and soybean futures also climbed, supported by worries
about the size of U.S. crops, while traders continued to monitor
prospects for a partial U.S.-China trade deal.
    As of 12:58 p.m. CDT (1758 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade
December soft red winter wheat futures were up 12 cents at
$5.25 a bushel after reaching $5.27, the contract's highest
level since July 19.
    CBOT December corn was up 2-3/4 cents at $3.94-1/2 a
bushel and November soybeans were up 2 cents at $9.30 a
bushel.
    Wheat posted the biggest percentage gains as funds covered
short positions amid signs of firming cash prices, as well as
dryness reducing crop prospects in Argentina and Australia.

    Traders noted that Egypt on Wednesday bought 405,000 tonnes
of Russian, French and Ukrainian wheat at prices that were
roughly $6 to $9 per tonne higher than what it paid at its
previous international tender on Oct. 8.
    "It could indicate that global wheat prices in general, on
the cash side, are a little bit higher," said Terry Reilly,
senior analyst with Futures International.
    Reilly also noted market chatter that China might be seeking
U.S. wheat. 
    "Wheat was excluded from all this talk of China buying
commodities. Now that wheat is thrown in, some traders are
getting excited. That is prompting some technical buying, some
short covering," Reilly said.
    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday
that China's "serious commitment" to buy $40 billion to $50
billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods as part of a so-called
phase 1 trade deal would depend in part on private companies and
market conditions.
    The deal was unveiled at the White House last week during a
visit by China's vice premier, Liu He, as part of a bid to end a
tit-for-tat trade war between Beijing and Washington that has
roiled markets and hammered global growth.
    CBOT corn and soybean futures climbed on news that the U.S.
Department of Agriculture late Wednesday said it would collect
additional information on corn and soybean acreage in Minnesota
and North Dakota following recent snowfall, and could publish
changes in its Nov. 8 crop production report.
    "That news is in general supportive because it increases the
potential that the USDA may lower production in the November
report," Reilly said.
    
    CBOT prices as of 1:01 p.m. CDT (1801 GMT):
                                   Net     Pct   Volume
                          Last  change  change         
 CBOT wheat     WZ9     525.25   12.00     2.3    57544
 CBOT corn      CZ9     394.50    2.75     0.7   114473
 CBOT soybeans  SX9     930.50    2.50     0.3    99809
 CBOT soymeal   SMZ9    306.10    1.30     0.4    39335
 CBOT soyoil    BOZ9     30.43    0.03     0.1    34017
    NOTE: CBOT December wheat and corn and November soybeans
shown in cents per bushel, December soymeal in dollars per short
ton and soyoil in cents per pound.
   

 (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago
Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral
in Singapore
Editing by David Evans and Matthew Lewis)
  
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