U.S. grains: Profit-taking pressures soybeans

Corn futures firm, wheat weak

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures eased on Wednesday on a profit-taking setback after approaching 4-1/2-year highs, traders said.

Corn futures ended firmer on technical buying, while wheat dipped.

Concerns about dry conditions limiting crop potential in key corn- and soy-growing areas of South American underpinned the market, with strong demand weighing on global stockpiles.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybean futures settled down 1/2 cent at $11.83-3/4 a bushel after peaking at $11.95 early in the session (all figures US$).

Soybeans had risen for three days in a row and four of the previous five sessions.

U.S. soy processors crushed 181.018 million bushels of soybeans in November, their third-largest monthly crush on record, the National Oilseed Processors Association said.

Despite forecasts for showers in the week ahead, there were still doubts about potential for South American soybean and corn crops after drought at the start of the growing season.

“The key factor for grain markets for the next two or three months will be South American weather,” said Sebastien Poncelet at consultancy Agritel. “For now, you can’t say with certainty whether the harvest will be good or bad.”

CBOT March corn futures were up 2-1/2 cents at $4.27-1/4 after finding support at their 10-day moving average.

CBOT March soft red winter wheat was 1-1/4 cents lower at $5.98-1/2.

The Russian export tax, adopted on Tuesday as part of the country’s efforts to stabilize food prices, was seen by traders as leading to less competitive offers of Russian wheat in an Egyptian tender.

— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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