CHICAGO, July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rallied more
than 2% on Wednesday on increasing concerns over U.S supplies
after a tour showed crop damage due to dry weather in a key
producing state, traders said.
Corn and soybean futures also firmed, but trade was choppy
as brokers weighed fears of declining crop ratings against
forecasts for cooler temperatures next week and sluggish export
demand for U.S. supplies.
As of 12:59 p.m. CDT (1759 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade
September wheat was up 15-1/2 cents at $6.90 per bushel.
Minneapolis Grain Exchange September spring wheat futures
were back above $9 a bushel, rising 27-3/4 cents to
CBOT benchmark December corn was up 3 cents at
$5.49-1/4 a bushel and November soybeans were up 1-3/4
cents at $13.61-1/4 a bushel.
Wheat rose after scouts on an annual crop tour said spring
wheat yield potential in portions of North Dakota, by far the
country's top producer of the food grain, was well below average
due to a severe drought.
Tour scouts on Tuesday projected an average spring wheat
yield for southern and east central North Dakota at 29.5 bushels
per acre (bpa) on the first day of a three-day tour, below the
tour's five-year average of 43.3 bpa.
The drought extends into South Dakota and Montana as well as
portions of Canada.
"Rains are expected to pick up a bit in South Dakota on
Friday, but ... will be too late to improve conditions for
spring wheat, as growth is finishing up," space technology
company Maxar said in a daily weather note.
Additional support stemmed from news that Russian
agriculture consultancy Sovecon on Tuesday cut its forecast for
Russia's 2021/22 wheat exports by 1.3 million tonnes to 37.1
million tonnes. Russia is the world's biggest wheat exporter.
Corn and soybean futures turned up after a choppy start as
market players awaited fresh direction. Dry conditions affecting
portions of the Midwest crop belt lent support, with soybeans
approaching their key pod-setting phase next month.
"U.S soybean crops are on the cusp of their crop crucible
with August almost upon us, and so Midwest weather starts to
take on greater importance," said Tobin Gorey, director of
agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago
Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Canberra and Sybille de
La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by David Evans and Matthew Lewis)