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CHICAGO: US soyabean futures hit their highest in almost seven years on Monday as dry weather in Argentina and excessive rains in Brazil stoked supply concerns. Wheat futures declined, pressured by forecasts for beneficial rains in the US Plains winter wheat belt late this week. Corn futures were narrowly mixed in choppy trade.

A firmer US dollar hung over the markets, theoretically making US grains less competitive globally. As of 12:39 p.m. CST (1839 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade May soyabeans were up 7-1/2 cents at $14.37-1/2 per bushel, paring gains after reaching $14.60, the highest price on a continuous chart of the most-active soyabean contract since June 2014. Contract highs were set across the board in CBOT soyabean and soyaoil futures.

CBOT May wheat was down 5-3/4 cents at $6.47-1/4 a bushel. May corn was up 1/2 cent at $5.46 a bushel while back months hit contract highs, including the new-crop December contract, which represents corn that will be planted this spring. Soyabean futures set the tone, surging in early moves on South American weather woes.

“Brazil’s soyabean harvest is being dogged, and a little depleted, by wet weather,” said Tobin Gorey of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Brazilian farmers had harvested an estimated 35% of the planted soyabean area through last Thursday, down from 49% a year ago and the slowest pace in a decade, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said. Bean quality is also being affected by damp conditions.

Soyabean futures are poised to rise into a $15.53-1/2 to $15.63-1/2 range, said Reuters analyst Wang Tao.

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