Grains mixed - Wheat up on Argentina crop woes; soy and corn drop

Shutterstock photo - - U.S. grain futures were mixed during European morning hours on Wednesday, with wheat prices trading close to a one-week high amid concerns over wheat crop conditions in Argentina.

Soybean and corn prices declined for the third consecutive day, as traders continued to monitor weather conditions in Brazil.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, wheat for March delivery traded at USD8.1738 a bushel, gaining 0.75% on the day. The March contract rose by as much as 0.85% earlier in the session to hit a daily high of USD8.1788 a bushel, just below the strongest level since December 12.

Wheat prices found support on hopes demand for U.S. supplies will increase in the near-term amid shrinking output from major wheat grower Argentina.

The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said last week that it expected Argentina's wheat harvest to total 9.8 million tonnes in the 2012-13 marketing year, cutting its previous estimate by 300,000 tonnes.

Argentina is a major grain exporter and competes with the U.S. for business on the global market. A downbeat crop outlook in the South American country could boost demand for U.S. supplies.

Meanwhile, soybeans futures for January delivery traded at USD14.6188 a bushel, down 0.3% on the day. The front-month contract fell by as much as 0.5% earlier in the day to trade at a session low of USD14.5888 a bushel, the weakest level since December 12.

Soybean prices tumbled nearly 2% Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that China, the world's largest soybean importer, cancelled a previous order to buy 300,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans.

Prices came under additional pressure after Brazil-based weather service provider Somar Meteorologia said it expected rainfall later this week across most parts of the country's center west, southeast and southern regions.

The rainy conditions were likely to maintain good soil moisture levels, potentially boosting yields and upgrading the quality of the harvest.

Elsewhere, corn futures for March delivery traded at USD7.1912 a bushel, little changed on the day. The March contract held in a tight range between USD7.1662 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD7.2212 a bushel.

The March CBOT contract fell to a four-week low of USD7.1537 a bushel on December 13 after the USDA left its forecast for U.S. corn ending stocks unchanged at 647 million bushels.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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