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U.S. soybean futures rise as global supplies tighten

LONDON - Chicago soybean prices were higher on Thursday with crop losses in Argentina helping to tighten global supplies while wheat and corn also edged up.

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A customer scoops soybeans as she shops at a supermarket in Wuhan, Hubei province. REUTERS/Stringer/File photo

LONDON - Chicago soybean prices were higher on Thursday with crop losses in Argentina helping to tighten global supplies while wheat and corn also edged up.

Dealers said the soybean market continued to derive support from last month's crop-damaging heavy rain in Argentina.

Heavy El Niño rains that lashed Argentina's pampas in April have already wiped out 785,000 hectares of this year's soy crop, and another 700,000 are in danger, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Wednesday.

"We have revised up our soybean price forecasts for 2016 and beyond, as the global market will register a smaller surplus than previously anticipated in 2015/16," BMI Research said in a note.

"Starting in 2016/17, we forecast the global market to register small but consistent deficits."

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The most active soy contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.3 percent at $10.37-1/4 a bushel at 1124 GMT.

CBOT wheat futures were little changed after earlier falling to the lowest level in almost three weeks as a closely watched crop tour forecast above average yields in the U.S. Plains, reinforcing expectations of ample global supplies.

Crop scouts on the second day of the annual three-day tour of Kansas hard red winter wheatfields projected an average yield of 49.3 bushels per acre in the southwestern portion of the state, up from tour findings of 34.5 bushels a year ago.

"The 3-day U.S. Plains crop tour continues to find better than expected potential yields," UK merchant Gleadell said in a daily market note.

CBOT wheat was a marginal 0.1 percent higher at $4.71-3/4 a bushel after earlier dipping to a low of $4.67-1/2 - the weakest since April 15.

The tour, which also found above-average yields on Tuesday in northern Kansas, is scheduled to release a final yield forecast for the country's top wheat producing state on Thursday.

September wheat futures in Paris was off 0.5 percent at 160.50 euros a metric ton in thin conditions due to a public holiday in France and Germany for Ascension Day.

Corn futures edged up as China estimated the country's corn planting area will fall by more than a million hectares this year, the first drop in 13 years.

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CBOT'S most active corn contract was up 0.3 percent at $3.78 a bushel. 

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