GRAINS-U.S. wheat rises from 8-week low; corn, soy weak on harvest expectations

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CHICAGO, Sept 14 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures rose 1.5 percent on Friday, rebounding from an eight-week low on a round of technical buying and short-covering ahead of the weekend, traders said.

Soybean and corn futures were slightly lower, with expectations for bumper U.S. harvests of both crops stifling rally attempts.

“Wheat is leading gains with the Chicago contract bouncing off the psychological $5 per bushel level, Russia still in the news and most major exporters still dealing with dry weather concerns,” Matt Zeller, director of market information at INTL FCStone, said in a note to clients. “Corn and soy have no such impetus to rebound from lows, confined there as another solid U.S. growing season winds down and harvest begins across the Midwest.”

At 11:17 a.m. CDT (1717 GMT), the benchmark Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat contract was up 7-3/4 cents at $5.04-3/4 a bushel, on track to snap a three-session losing streak.

CBOT wheat has fallen 1.3 percent this week.

Dealers said that wheat supplies remained fairly tight and major physical buyers were taking advantage of recent price weakness to step up purchases.

Tunisia’s state grains agency purchased 67,000 tonnes of milling wheat, 75,000 tonnes of durum and 50,000 tonnes of barley in a tender on Friday, traders said.

Earlier this week Egypt’s state grain buyer purchased 235,000 tonnes of wheat at an international tender while Algeria bought 630,000 tonnes.

The flurry of export activity underpinned the wheat market even as U.S. shippers struggled to compete for the business.

CBOT December corn futures were 1/2 cent lower at $3.50 a bushel and CBOT November soybeans were off 2-1/4 cents at $8.31 a bushel.

Dealers were keeping a close watch for potential trade talks between the United States and top soybean importer China.

“The biggest potential swing factor to the U.S. balance sheet is its export number, and any change to the tariff situation in the U.S. could support U.S. beans,” said Jonathan Lane, trading director at UK merchant Gleadell.

CBOT soybeans have fallen 1.5 percent this week while CBOT corn has shed 4.6 percent. (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Nigel Hunt in London; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and James Dalgleish)

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