GRAINS-Soybeans edge up as investors eye U.S. jobs report

Credit: REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

By Gus Trompiz and Matthew Chye

PARIS/SINGAPORE, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures ticked up on Friday, staying on course for a weekly gain as participants assessed crop weather in drought-hit Argentina while awaiting U.S. jobs data for a latest gauge of the economic outlook.

Wheat eased after a one-month peak a day earlier, with export competition from Russian supplies helping cap prices.

Corn also edged lower.

Trading was subdued as investors focused on monthly U.S. employment figures on Friday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve this week cited progress in curbing inflation. MKTS/GLOB

Grain markets were also turning their attention to next week's monthly supply and demand outlook from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will include updated projections for South American crops.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Sv1 was up 0.3% to $15.38-3/4 a bushel by 1141 GMT.

Argentina's Buenos Aires grains exchange warned on Thursday that, despite recent rainfall, a historic drought over the country's core agricultural region could still negatively impact the current soybean harvest.

Weather forecasts show high temperatures and limited rain in Argentina in the week ahead.

"The most-active (soybean) contract on the CBOT (...) should remain well supported in the short term on the back of the news from Argentina," Commerzbank said.

However, some analysts see limited upside to soy prices given expectations that Brazil will harvest a record soybean crop, despite initial rain delays to harvesting.

CBOT corn Cv1 was down 0.4% at $6.72-1/2 a bushel while wheat Wv1 gave up 0.5% to $7.57-1/4 a bushel.

The corn market has also been weighing potential drought losses in Argentina against more favourable prospects in Brazil.

Cereal traders have at the same time been assessing uncertain production prospects for drought-affected U.S. wheat and war-affected crop belts in Ukraine.

However, short-term availability of Black Sea supplies, highlighted by Egypt's purchase on Thursday of 535,000 tonnes of wheat expected to be sourced from Russia, was curbing prices.

The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) estimated world wheat production in 2022 at a record level, supported by upward revisions to Russian and Australian output.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Matthew Chye in Singapore; editing by Eileen Soreng, Elaine Hardcastle)

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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.

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