U.S. grains: Wheat rises on dry weather worries

Paris/Singapore | Reuters –– Chicago wheat futures rose on Monday, snapping a two-session fall, as dry weather in some U.S. and European wheat belts stirred concern in a market that has been weighed down by the prospect of record global supplies this season.

Soybeans lost more ground as U.S. farmers are expected to boost the pace of harvesting amid dry weather in the Midwest, while corn edged higher on support from gains in wheat.

Chicago Board of Trade’s most-active wheat contract rose one per cent to $3.98-3/4 a bushel by 7:29 a.m. ET, having lost 2.5 per cent in the last two sessions.

Wheat was drawing support on concerns about dry weather impacting U.S. hard red winter wheat that is being sown.

“The clock is ticking louder for the U.S. wheat crop,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“Dry western parts of the U.S. hard red winter wheat region have received only modest rainfall on small patches over the weekend,” he said, adding that forecasts called for dry weather to continue.

In Western Europe, parched conditions that have stressed corn crops and affected rapeseed sowing were threatening to hinder wheat sowing that is getting underway.

Consultancy ODA Groupe on Friday estimated that the area sown with rapeseed in France is eight per cent lower than last year.

French farmers had sown just six per cent of the expected soft wheat area by Oct. 3 against 17 per cent a year earlier, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday.

However, rainfall in Ukraine and Russia has improved sowing prospects there and wheat markets remain within sight of a recent 10-year low in Chicago, reflecting large global inventories which the U.S. government projects at a record level this season.

Traders will get an update on crop conditions from weekly data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday, which will also indicate progress in harvesting what are tipped to be record soybean and corn crops.

CBOT soybeans gave up 0.4 per cent to $9.53 a bushel and corn gained 0.2 per cent to $3.40-1/4 a bushel.

The soybean market is being weighed down by forecasts of dry weather in the weeks ahead which will aid the harvest after excessive rains in September slowed field work and raised the risk of crop damage.

Grain markets are also looking to Wednesday’s USDA monthly supply-and-demand report that will adjust corn and soybean harvest estimates.

“Based on likely record corn and soybean harvests in the U.S., there is little reason for any significant price increases,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

Reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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