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Morning markets: new US weather threat lifts crops

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US commodities returned refreshed from the weekend, with wheat returning above $54 a bushel, helped by rising expectations of a further rain threat to corn and soybean harvests.

Traders are expecting US Department of Agriculture data to show that farmers made little progress in harvests last week, thanks to a weather front which has plagued the Midwest with rain and frost.

While last weekend provided some respite, forecast predict a return of adverse conditions.

"Rain and thunderstorms west, dry central and east Wednesday, rain and a few thunderstorms Thursday, lingering light showers east, mostly dry conditions west Friday," Meteorlogix said n its Midwest weather forecast.

"The weather pattern will remain unfavourable for crop dry down and harvest throughout the Midwest. Freezing temperatures in the west could have damaged any immature crop."

Dollar revives

Although the dollar revived a touch, rebounding a touch from a 14-month low against the euro and so making US crops less competitive as exports, crops looked to revive the rally which came unstuck at the end of last week.

Chicago corn for December added 1.25 cents to $3.73 ¼ a bushel at 07:15 GMT, with November soybeans adding 10.5 cents to $9.88 a bushel

Wheat, which was hurt last week by an end to short-covering as some investors began to feel its rally had petered out, also returned to the front foot, adding 4.75 cents to $5.03 ½ a bushel for December delivery.

Palm rises

In Kuala Lumpur, palm oil also made headway, as it continued to benefit from data showing higher Malaysian exports in the first 15 days of the month.

Cargo surveyors on Friday estimated exports up more than 10% month on month.

The benchmark January contract closed the morning session on the Bursa Malaysia Derivative Exchange up 29 ringgit at 2,207 ringgit a tonne.

Earlier, it touched 2,217 ringgit a tonne, a five-week high.


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