U.S. grains: Wheat highest in over a week on global weather worries

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Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat rose to its highest in more than a week on Wednesday, up for a second straight session on technical buying coupled with concerns about global production prospects, traders said.

Corn rose ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, while soybeans fell on mostly favourable South American weather prospects.

At the Chicago Board of Trade, most-active March wheat ended up five cents at $5.62-3/4 a bushel, while the spot December contract jumped 10-1/2 cents to end at $5.62 (all figures US$).

Front-month December gained versus back months as traders exited positions ahead of first notice day for deliveries against the contract, with analysts expecting few, if any, wheat deliveries.

Poor weather in the Black Sea region as well as parts of Australia and the U.S. added support.

“We have got wheat here, but there is reason to think that overseas crops are not so good, with problems in Australia and parts of Russia,” said Jack Scoville of the Price Futures Group in Chicago.

CBOT March corn settled up 4-1/4 cents at $3.91-1/2 a bushel, gaining against soybeans on inter-market spreads.

Corn got a boost after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. ethanol production rose to an average of 982,000 barrels per day in the week ending Nov. 21, the largest weekly total since the agency started tracking the data in 2010.

CBOT January soybeans finished down four cents at $10.47 a bushel as traders focused on generally favourable crop weather in Brazil.

“South American weather forecasts are beneficial as farmers continue to plant beans and corn,” Helen Pound, a vice-president with KCG Futures in Minneapolis, wrote in a note to clients.

Losses in soybeans were limited by strength in soymeal, with the front December soymeal contract surging $11 to close at $401.60 per short ton, topping $400 for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Traders and analysts expect no deliveries on Friday against December soymeal futures, given strong U.S. cash markets and robust export demand.

U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday, with trade at the CBOT resuming on Friday for a shortened session.

— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering crop commodity markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan and Naveen Thukral.

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