Edition:
United Kingdom

Colin Packham

GRAINS-Corn extends gains to hover near highest in more than 3 wks

2:24am GMT

* Corn extends climb into fourth session * Wheat prices edge higher, soybeans firm By Colin Packham SYDNEY, March 25 U.S. corn futures edged up on Monday, extending gains into a fourth session as strong Chinese demand and concerns about North American production pushed prices towards a three-week high. Soybean prices inched higher, while wheat firmed. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.3 percent at $3.79-1/4 a bushel by 0202 GMT, having gained 0.5 percent in the previous session when prices marked their highest since Feb. 8 at $3.80-3/4 a bushel. "The U.S. Midwest remains too wet for planting in some regions. That delay still has the potential to mean that less corn might be planted overall," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. A farmer survey by crop advisory firm Farm Futures on Friday said U.S. growers will plant 1.9 percent more corn acres this year and 3.7 percent less soybeans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced corn sales totalling 300,000 tonnes to China on Friday - the largest purchase by Beijing in five years. The orders came following weeks of rumours that Beijing was poised to make a goodwill purchase of the grain amid ongoing U.S.-China trade talks. The most active soybean futures were up 0.2 percent at $9.05-1/2 a bushel, after ending down 0.6 percent on Friday. The most active wheat futures were up 0.2 percent at $4.66-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.1 percent on Friday when they earlier touched their highest since Feb. 27 at $4.74 a bushel. The USDA is due to release its annual planting prospects report next Friday. Grains prices at 0202 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 466.75 0.75 +0.16% +0.05% 471.73 58 CBOT corn 379.25 1.00 +0.26% +0.80% 375.27 74 CBOT soy 905.50 1.75 +0.19% -0.55% 911.18 55 CBOT rice 11.20 -$0.02 -0.13% +0.99% $10.63 82 WTI crude 58.41 -$0.63 -1.07% -2.62% $56.80 54 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.129 -$0.002 -0.18% -0.70% USD/AUD 0.7074 -0.001 -0.11% -0.52% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Australian PM boosted by re-election of ruling party in largest state

23 Mar 2019

SYDNEY Prime Minister Scott Morrison's re-election prospects got a lift on Saturday when Australia's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), returned his ruling Liberal Party to power.

Australian state election will be trial run for PM's federal contest in May

22 Mar 2019

SYDNEY Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal Party faces a tight election contest in Australia's largest state on Saturday, polls suggest, as a strong economy and a troubled opposition may not surmount voter anger over the removal of his predecessor.

GRAINS-Corn jumps to near one-month top, set to finish week 1.5 pct higher

22 Mar 2019

* U.S. flooding stokes fears of planting delays * Soybeans firm but U.S.-China trade talks weigh * Wheat flat despite concerns about U.S. production By Colin Packham SYDNEY, March 22 U.S. corn futures rose to a near one-month high on Friday as flash flooding in a major North American producing region stoked fears of plating delays, with the grain poised for a 1.5 percent weekly gain. Soybeans edged higher, while wheat was unchanged. The most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade added 0.6 percent to 3.78-1/2 a bushel by 0235 GMT, near the session high of $3.78-3/4 a bushel - the highest since Feb. 26. "Parts of the U.S. Midwest are looking at planting delays because of heavy rain. And that might shunt a few corn acres into beans," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday that the extensive flooding in Nebraska and Iowa would persist in the wider region through May and become more dire as water flows downstream. Export sales for corn and wheat last week were in line with trade expectations, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data released on Thursday. The most-active soybean futures were up 0.1 percent at $9.11-3/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.5 percent on Thursday. Soybeans are poised to finish the week little changed after closing up 1.5 percent last week. Analysts highlighted uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade talks weighing on the beans. The USDA said soybean sales were well below expectations, with minimal reported sales to China. The most active wheat futures were unchanged at $4.66-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 1.8 percent on Thursday. Wheat is poised to finish the week 1 percent higher after closing up 5 percent last week. A heavy snowfall and an expected flooding in the U.S. northern Plains spring wheat belt, particularly in top producer North Dakota, have also raised the risk of delays in planting the 2019 crop. Seeding normally begins in April. Grains prices at 0242 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 466.75 0.25 +0.05% +0.43% 473.61 59 CBOT corn 378.50 2.25 +0.60% +1.88% 375.40 74 CBOT soy 911.75 1.25 +0.14% +0.63% 912.19 66 CBOT rice 11.05 -$0.04 -0.32% +1.01% $10.60 77 WTI crude 59.81 -$0.17 -0.28% -0.03% $56.64 79 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.137 $0.000 -0.03% -0.36% USD/AUD 0.7100 -0.001 -0.15% -0.21% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

Oil eases from 4-month high on global growth worries

21 Mar 2019

SYDNEY, March 21 Oil prices edged lower on Thursday, retreating from a four-month peak, as fears of a slowing global economy weighed on market sentiment.

Australia cuts annual immigrant cap, puts key cities off-limits to some

20 Mar 2019

SYDNEY Australia on Wednesday cut its annual intake of immigrants by nearly 15 percent, and barred some new arrivals from living in its largest cities for three years, in a bid to ease urban congestion.

UPDATE 2-Australia's Nufarm posts H1 loss as drought persists

20 Mar 2019

* Nufarm to cut Australian production in half (Updates to include share price movement, adds quote from company CEO)

Taking a rain check: Australian farmers shun fertilizer purchases as drought lingers

19 Mar 2019

SYDNEY Australian farmers are postponing buying fertilizer and other products they typically use to protect their crops as a drought across the country's east coast darkens the outlook for the rural sector in one of the world's top exporters of grains.

Hot weather to linger across Australia in blow to rural sector

14 Mar 2019

SYDNEY Hot weather will linger in Australia for at least another three months, the country's meteorology bureau said on Thursday, piling pressure on the rural sector in one of the world's top exporters of commodities such as wheat.

China using 'pay-day loan diplomacy' in the Pacific - U.S. diplomat

13 Mar 2019

SYDNEY China's is using "pay-day loan diplomacy" to exert influence in the Pacific, the new U.S. ambassador to Australia said on Wednesday, comments that threaten to inflame regional tensions. | Video

World News