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Morning markets: crops mark time amid frost debate

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Crops remained on the defensive on Thursday, but above early lows, as prospects for a frost hitting US soybean and corn while still in the field appeared to wane.

There is some consensus that temperatures will turn cooler next week. But latest forecasts appear to cast doubt on the prospect of a deep frost which would, given the delays facing US crops, likely have a significant impact on yields.

Indeed, many farmers starting their corn harvests have come up with yields even better than the US Department of Agriculture forecast of 161.9 bushels per acre.

Some Indiana crops have yields more than 230 bushels per acre, according to FCStone, the US broker.

Dollar help

Corn for December delivery stood 0.5 cents lower at $3.35 ¾ a bushel in Chicago at 06:40 GMT, although above an early low of $3.30 a bushel.

Soybeans clambered back into positive territory, adding 3 cents to $9.53 ¼ a bushel, 13 cents above their intraday low.

Wheat, which is still being harvested in the US, stood 1 cent higher at $4.68 ¼ a bushel.

A weaker dollar was credited for some of the rebound, with the greenback hitting a one-year low against the euro and other major currencies, making US crop exports cheaper.

Palm recedes

In Kuala Lumpur, palm oil also edged lower, as traders booked profits from a 4.4% jump in the previous session.

The prospect of a long holiday weekend, for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, encouraged investors to close positions.

Benchmark December palm oil closed the morning session on the Bursa Malaysia Derivative Exchange down 9 ringgit at 2,172 ringgit a tonne.


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