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Morning markets: wheat takes pole as crops regroup

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The last shall be first. Wheat, the weakest of Chicago's big three in the last session, showed the strongest form on Wednesday as traders wondered whether profit-taking was really justified.

November appears to have given a fresh wind to fund buying. They bought 12,000 corn contracts in Chicago on Tuesday.

While corn paused on Wednesday, wheat took up the pace, adding 5.25 cents to $5.21 a bushel at 07:30 GMT, taking its gains in what is proving a better week for crops above 5%.

Quality concerns

Behind the rally has been - besides technical factors, such as new-month positioning – some renewed focus on fundamentals, notably for corn and soybeans, which are suffering hugely delayed harvests in the US thanks to persistent rain as well as late seeding

The quality of the crops, which have appeared on course to set records, has begun to creep back under investors' microscope.

"Usually, big crops get bigger with each passing month but this year could be the exception," Vic Lespinasse, analyst, said.

Moisture content as well as yields is in question.

Key reports

Investors will get a further insight later on Wednesday when analysts at Informa and FC Stone publish their latest crop estimates. Washington will revise official data on November 10, with some expectation of a cut to corn and soybean numbers.

That may co-incide with a period of renewed, combine-hampering rain in the US Midwest and Delta regions, if the latest weather forecasts are correct.

Still, corn steadied, down 0.5 cents at $3.89 ½ a bushel for December delivery.

Soybeans recovered early losses to stand up 1.25 cents at $10.08 a bushel for November and 1.75 cents higher at $10.12 ¼ a bushel for the better-traded January contract.

In external markets, the dollar was also steady, as traders awaited a statement from the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, following its latest interest rate-setting meeting.

Palm rally

In Kuala Lumpur, palm oil played a bit of catch up with the rival soy complex, adding 39 ringgit, or 1.8%, to 2,229 ringgit a tonne in morning trade.

Despite concerns about rising production, late bounces are helping palm put in a modest rally, with prices for Bursa Malaysia's January contract up 3.6% over the last week.


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