U.S. soybeans firm on South America weather worries

* Adverse weather seen curbing crop yields in Brazil
* Wheat stays firm as tighter Black Sea supply in focus

(Updates with closing U.S. prices)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose on
Wednesday on worries about poor crop weather reducing yield
potential in South America, analysts said, while traders
continued to watch for any developments in U.S. trade relations
with top global soy buyer China.
Wheat firmed on hopes that rising prices in Russia, the
world's biggest exporter, would bolster U.S. exports, while corn
futures finished little changed.
Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) March soybean futures
settled up 5-3/4 cents at $9.15 a bushel but stayed inside
Tuesday's trading range.
The CBOT March wheat contract ended up 4-3/4 cents at
$5.26 a bushel, breaking through its 100-day moving average,
while March corn finished down 1/4 cent at $3.78-3/4 a
bushel.
"CBOT soybean futures rallied on the persistent dry pattern
in northeastern Brazil/wet pattern in eastern Argentina that
continues to threaten South American soybean production," DC
Analysis President Dan Cekander wrote in a note to clients.
Forecasters have been scaling back estimates for Brazil's
soybean harvest due to drought, and hot weather this week was
expected to keep some regions dry.
The average estimate of Brazil's 2018-19 soybean production
in a Reuters poll of analysts was 117.06 million tonnes, down
from the average in a November poll of 120.8 million tonnes.

Looking ahead to U.S. plantings for 2019, private analytics
firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG,
projected that farmers would plant more corn and less soybeans
and wheat compared to 2018.
The firm put 2019 soybean plantings at 86.2 million acres,
up 1.1 million acres from its mid-December forecast, but still
down nearly 3 million acres from 2018.
IEG projected U.S. 2019 corn plantings at 91.5 million
acres, up from the 89.1 million in 2018. The firm put total U.S.
wheat seedings for 2019 at 47.163 million acres, compared with
the 47.8 million a year earlier.
Agricultural markets were also weighing prospects for
progress in negotiations between Washington and Beijing over
their trade dispute. Soybean and corn futures eased on Tuesday
on reports the Trump administration turned down Chinese offers
this week for preparatory trade talks.
But White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow later denied
the preliminary trade meeting was canceled.
CBOT wheat futures were buoyed by tightening supplies and
rising prices in Russia and Ukraine after brisk early-season
shipments by the Black Sea exporting countries.
A run of import tenders this week also lent support.


CBOT settlement prices:
Net Pct Volume
Last change change
CBOT wheat WH9 526.00 4.75 0.9 42002
CBOT corn CH9 378.75 -0.25 -0.1 112205
CBOT soybeans SH9 915.00 5.75 0.6 65917
CBOT soymeal SMH9 312.90 -0.10 0.0 33193
CBOT soyoil BOH9 29.38 0.32 1.1 52649
NOTE: CBOT March wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per
bushel, March soymeal in dollars per short ton and March soyoil
in cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Tom Brown and Susan Thomas)


First Published: 2019-01-23 00:19:37
Updated 2019-01-23 22:40:59


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