United Kingdom

Colin Packham

GRAINS-Wheat firm near 6-year top as weather worries persist

12:01pm BST

* Dry weather effects seen in Russian, U.S., Argentine wheat belts * Egypt wheat tender adds to flurry of international demand * Corn steady near 14-month top on strong export demand * Soybeans also consolidate after 4-year high; Brazil rain eyed (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Colin Packham PARIS/SYDNEY, Oct 23 Chicago wheat rose on Friday as traders worried about persisting effects of drought in major production belts worldwide and importers continued to grab available supply. Corn edged higher to hold near Thursday's 14-month high as strong export demand and doubts over harvest prospects in Ukraine and South America underpinned the market. Soybeans were little changed after rallying to a four-year peak in the previous session, as investors assessed improving rainfall in Brazil that could boost the planting campaign. The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.9% at $6.28-1/2 a bushel by 1046 GMT. The contract had fallen earlier to a one-week low as it eased from Tuesday's near six-year high, before turning upwards to trade back close to that peak. "The weather remains a really important factor for wheat," Nathan Cordier of consultancy Agritel said. "You've got a lot of rain in Australia, Argentina has suffered from dryness and frost, conditions aren't good in U.S. states like Kansas, while in Russia there is still a lot of uncertainty." The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange on Thursday cut again its forecast of the Argentine wheat harvest, citing the impact of drought despite the recent return of rain. Fellow southern hemisphere exporter Australia is set for a rebound in production this year, but rain in the southeast has raised concern about crop quality. In Russia, virtually no rain was expected in the week ahead in dry southern belts, although some forecasts projected showers in early November. Egypt is holding a tender on Friday, following purchases this week by Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey. CBOT soybeans inched up a quarter of a cent to $10.74 a bushel, after hitting on Thursday a more than four-year high of $10.85-1/4. CBOT corn was up 0.4% at 4.17-3/4 a bushel, near Thursday's peak of $4.19 that marked a highest since August 2019. U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly export data on Thursday confirmed strong demand for corn and soybeans, including large sales to China. Prices at 1046 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 628.50 5.75 0.92 558.75 12.48 CBOT corn 417.75 1.50 0.36 387.75 7.74 CBOT soy 1074.00 0.25 0.02 955.50 12.40 Paris wheat December 210.25 1.25 0.60 188.75 11.39 Paris maize Nov 194.50 3.25 1.70 174.75 11.30 Paris rape Nov 393.25 -1.50 -0.38 391.50 0.45 WTI crude oil 40.86 0.22 0.54 61.06 -33.08 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 0.22 1.1210 5.64 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Tomasz Janowski)

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