Soybeans ease for 2nd day on LatAm weather, wheat struggles

SINGAPORE, Nov 15:  U.S. Soybeans slipped for a second session on Friday as improved weather in parts South America lifted planting prospects, while wheat was on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline on slowing demand.

Corn ticked up, after falling for three days on concerns  the United States may soon cut its corn-based ethanol requirement.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans fell 0.1 percent to $13.12-1/4 a bushel by 0305 GMT, while front-month corn gained 0.1 percent to $4.27 a bushel.

Spot-month wheat added 0.2 percent to $6.46 a bushel.

Argentine farmers had planted 21.8 percent of expected soybean area as of Thursday, in line with a year earlier, after recent rains improved seeding conditions, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said.

Winter and the first days of spring were dry in  Argentina, delaying the start of soybean planting. Corn planting starts earlier and is still behind the previous year with 42 percent of the expected 3.46 million hectares planted.

‘Favourable weather conditions are improving the  prospects of the South American soybean crop,’ said Vanessa Tan, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

‘Furthermore, harvesting for U.S. 2013 soybeans crop is wrapping up and the dry conditions in the U.S. Midwest will aid active harvesting.’

Mostly dry weather for the next two weeks should allow  U.S. farmers to finish harvesting the 2013 corn and soybean crops, an agricultural meteorologist said on Thursday.

It will remain dry in nearly all areas of the Midwest  until late in the weekend when rains may cause temporary delays and after that it will be quite dry for the rest of the month, the Commodity Weather Group said.

Commodity funds sold a net 7,000 CBOT corn contracts on Thursday, trade sources said. They were even in wheat and were even in soybeans.

The corn market has faced pressure on concerns the U.S. government might soon lower its requirement on the amount of corn-based ethanol blended into fuel for 2014.

Documents leaked earlier this year indicated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency might cut its corn-based ethanol requirement to 13 billion gallons versus the 14.4 billion target in a 2007 law.

Near-term ethanol margins have however been strong,  boosting output and supporting cash corn values.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported U.S. ethanol production in the latest week at 927,000 barrels per day, up 25,000 from the previous week.

The U.S. Wheat market faced headwinds on competition from cheaper supplies in Europe.

Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) bought 240,000 tonnes of Romanian and French wheat for shipment Dec. 1-15 in an international tender.

Egypt is the world’s top wheat importer, and the purchase was its biggest since Aug. 31.

European traders said the weakness of the euro on  Wednesday might have given an edge to French wheat. The last time GASC bought French wheat was at a tender on Dec. 1, 2012. (AGENCIES)


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