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Evening markets: wheat slips after US yields beat forecasts

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Turnaround Tuesday did end up making an appearance. But it was something of a cameo one, providing only minimal support for

corn

and

soybeans

, and none at all for

wheat

- nothing like the reversal of fortunes that this Chicago phenomenon is meant to provide.

"Corn and soybean markets have been able to muster a turnaround Tuesday, but the price movement and volume have been limited," Darrel Holaday at Country Futures said.

The trouble for wheat was not just the feeling that the slow spring crop sowings in North America had already been factored in, but also the first results of the US had red winter wheat harvest.

This crop was, after all, challenged by excessive dryness during much of the growing season.

"Yields in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas are better than expected in the early cutting. That is putting pressure on wheat values," Mr Holaday said.

Weak wheat

Harvest time is typically weak for prices anyway, providing a spike in supplies.

Chicago [soft red winter] wheat fell 1.4% to $7.33 ¾ a bushel for July, although the new crop lots did better, with December easing 0.7% to $7.8 ½ a bushel.

Kansas [hard red winter] wheat fell 1.7% to $8.74 ½ a bushel for July, while Minneapolis [hard red spring] wheat tanked 5.5% to $9.84 ¾ a bushel for the July contract, reversing its bravura performance of the last two sessions.

Minneapolis's new crop September contract, which has failed to enjoy such resilience, fell a more modest 1.3% to $9.50 ½ a bushel.

'Risk off the table'

In Europe, there was the extra downer, for bulls, of wet weather to factor in, providing much-needed moisture to crops.

"Rain across much of Europe, and fund players looking to take risk off the table after Russia's decision to lift their export ban has seen London wheat shed nearly £9 a tonne since opening Monday morning," the UK grain arm of a major EU commodities said.

In fact, London's best-traded November lot shed 2.6% to £184.50 a tonne on Tuesday, while Paris wheat for the same month lost 1.7% to E225.50 a tonne.

Still, conditions are not looking so well for European wheat looking further forward.

Once a wet front coming into France and German "falls apart over eastern Europe, the pattern turns significantly drier", WxRisk.com said, noting that the outlook "for western and central Europe is drier, and this is even more so for the 11-to-15 day" forecast.

Big deal

But, back in Chicago, corn got some support from a sale of more than 820,000 tonnes of American corn to Mexico, reporting through the US Department of Agriculture's daily reporting system, and the seventh biggest US deal ever.

That added fuel to the idea that the USDA will, in a key crop report due on Thursday, drop its estimates for domestic corn stocks at the close of 2010-11 "on better domestic demand", according to Benson Quinn Commodities.

Corn for July added 0.6% to $7.36 ½ a bushel.

Soybeans

for the same month gained 0.8% to $13.94 a bushel, continuing to gain support from the slow pace of US sowings of the oilseed revealed overnight in USDA data.

"Soybean plantings are 68% complete. This is the lowest planting since 1996," US Commodities said, while noting a "poor" correlation between sowings progress and final yields.

Limit down, again

While a weaker dollar, which lost 0.6% against a basket of currencies, also helped dollar-denominated assets, making them more competitive as exports, the greenback failed to prevent a second successive limit-down fall in

cotton

.

Both the most closely-watched contracts, July and December, ended down the maximum 7.0 cents allowed by exchange rules, to 148.63 cents a pound and 129.93 cents a pound respectively.

Confidence in the fibre has been undermined by a series of weak data on exports from the US, the top shipper.

'Worrying for the bears'

However, raw

sugar

took more succour in the tumbling greenback to close up 3.2% at 24.35 cents a pound for July delivery – the best close for a spot contract since late April.

The sweetener's graph is looking more and more like that last year, when prices staged a sharp second-half recovery. This time, however, the rebound comes against far better hopes for world output, with Czarnikow the latest to peg the surplus at more than 10m tonnes.

Still, talk of wet weather in sugar-growing parts of Brazil helped.

And, as Thomas Kujawa at Sucden Financial said, "there has been talk of concern about the quality of the cane being harvested, and it seems the analysts are revising down crop estimates rather than the other way".

"It's looking a little worrying for the bears. The dollar is weakening against the euro and it seems the bulls have the wind at their backs."

By Agrimoney.com

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