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Grains futures higher; South America crop woes in focus

CommoditiesNov 26, 2012 05:59AM ET
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Investing.com - U.S. grain futures were higher during European morning trade on Monday, with soybean and corn prices climbing to multi-week highs amid growing concerns over crop conditions in Brazil and Argentina.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans futures for January delivery traded at USD14.2450 bushel, up 0.35% on the day.

The January contract rose by as much as 0.6% earlier in the day to hit a session high of USD14.2838 a bushel, the strongest level since November 12.

Grain traders continued to monitor crop conditions in key grain growing regions in Brazil and Argentina, the world’s second and third largest exporters of the oilseed.

Influential industry group Oil World last week cut its output-growth estimate for the region by 8%, citing too much rain in parts of Argentina and too little in Brazil.

The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said on November 22 that 37% of the nation’s soy crop was planted as of last week, compared to 47% a year ago.

Soybean prices have been on a downward trend in recent weeks, losing nearly 21% since hitting an all-time high of USD17.8888 a bushel on September 4, amid easing concerns over shrinking global supplies.

January soy prices plunged to a five-month low of USD13.7235 a bushel on November 16.

Meanwhile, corn futures for March delivery traded at USD7.5588 a bushel, up 0.8% on the day.

The March contract rose by as much as 0.9% earlier in the session to hit a daily high of USD7.5688 a bushel, the strongest level since November 1.

Despite recent gains, corn futures have lost approximately 10% since touching a record high of USD8.4237 a bushel on August 10, as a combination of easing concerns over the size of the U.S. harvest.

The U.S. produced 38% of the world's corn last year, making it the both world's largest corn producing nation and the largest exporter of the grain.

Elsewhere, wheat for March delivery traded at USD8.6675 a bushel, gaining 0.5%. The March contract rose by as much as 0.7% earlier to hit a session high of USD8.6712 a bushel, the strongest since November 12.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

Grains futures higher; South America crop woes in focus

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