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U.S. wheat prices ease on firmer dollar, ample supplies

LONDON - Chicago wheat futures were marginally lower on Thursday with concerns that extreme cold weather could curb yields in the U.S. Plains offset by overall ample global supplies of the grain.

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Wheat with money. iStockphoto.com

LONDON - Chicago wheat futures were marginally lower on Thursday with concerns that extreme cold weather could curb yields in the U.S. Plains offset by overall ample global supplies of the grain.

U.S. corn and soybean futures also eased as a firmer dollar weighed on prices denominated in the currency.

May wheat on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 0.3 percent at $4.61-1/2 a bushel at 1107 GMT.

"We had some concerns about the weather, people were talking about damage from freezing weather in U.S. Plains," said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

"When you look at the global picture, there is plenty of wheat and planting conditions are fine. European weather is pretty good."

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Paris wheat futures were underpinned by a fall in the euro to an eight-day low against the dollar with May unchanged at 155.00 euros a tonne.

Dealers were waiting for the results of a tender issued by Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) seeking an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from April 25-May 5.

At its previous tender last week GASC bought 120,000 tonnes of French wheat, 60,000 tonnes of Romanian and 60,000 tonnes from Ukraine.

"The result should be known in the afternoon and could demonstrate again the current competitiveness of European and Black Sea origins," analyst Agritel said in a market note.

CBOT May corn was off 0.1 percent at $3.68-1/4 a bushel with dealers keeping a close watch on the extent to which wet weather could delay U.S. plantings.

"Weather forecasters expect the US Midwest to continue to see a wetter bias for the remainder of the month...Wet fields would confound early season planting," Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey said.

"Any delays might benefit corn prices if the USDA's planting survey records a surprisingly low corn planting number. The shift in the weather might though be a little late to be captured by the survey," he added.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is due to issue its prospective planting report on March 31. It is based on conditions as of March 1.

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In bearish news for the corn market, Argentina will harvest a record 37 million tonnes of corn this season, the government said on Wednesday.

CBOT soybean prices were also marginally lower with May off 2 cents or 0.2 percent at $9.03-1/4 a bushel.

Related Topics: MARKETSCROPSWHEAT
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