U.S. soybean, wheat futures rally; corn also higher

U.S. soybean, wheat futures rally; corn also higher

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures rose 1.4% on Monday, supported by hopes for a pick-up in the pace of exports as farmers in top global consumer China struggle with hot and dry weather that is expected to reduce the size of the crop there.

"It appears that exporters are scampering around trying to secure beans," said Greg Grow, director of agribusiness at Archer Financial Services. "Right now, the market needs soybeans for nearby demand."

Wheat futures also were strong, with the most-active CBOT soft red winter wheat contract Wv1 rising on short-covering after sagging to a 6-1/2-month low last week.

CBOT corn futures were firm, following the gains in wheat and soybeans, but the strength was limited as traders waited for the U.S. Agriculture Department's weekly crop conditions report as well as early updates from fields surveyed in Ohio, South Dakota and Nebraska on the annual Pro Farmer Crop Tour.

At 11:12 a.m. CDT (1612 GMT), CBOT November soybean futures SX2 were up 23-3/4 cents at $14.27-3/4 a bushel and CBOT December soft red winter wheat WZ2 was 14-1/4 cents higher at $7.85-1/4 a bushel.

CBOT December corn CZ2 was 3-3/4 cents higher at $6.27 a bushel.

After some beneficial showers in recent days, traders are monitoring forecasts to see if a dry start to this week is followed by rain in parched western zones of the U.S. Midwest.

USDA said on Monday that weekly export inspections of soybeans totaled 686,583 tonnes in the week ended Aug. 18, in line with market forecasts. USDA also boosted its estimate of the previous week's soybean inspections to 768,328 tonnes from 744,571 tonnes.

Corn export inspections were 740,508 tonnes and wheat export inspections were 594,273 tonnes. Both were in line with a range of analysts' estimates.
Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Rashmi Aich, Shailesh Kuber and Paul Simao