CHICAGO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures surged 2.8%
to a three-week high on Wednesday, with traders focused on dry
and cold weather in key growing areas of the Midwest and
Weather concerns also boosted soybeans and corn as investors
shrugged off recent rains in key growing areas of South America.
"Traders realize that, while this weeks rains are good in
South America, a lot of risk remains for the rest of the growing
season in Argentina, with the February models and analogs
leaning dry," Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at
brokerage StoneX, said in a note to clients.
Corn futures were on track for their third day of gains and
hit their highest since Dec. 28.
Wheat notched the biggest gains, with the most-active
Chicago Board of Trade March soft red winter wheat contract
rising 21-1/2 cents to $7.90-1/2 a bushel by 11:25 a.m.
CST (1725 GMT). The contract hit its highest since Dec. 29.
"A cold snap is currently underway in the U.S., raising
concerns about winter wheat crops weakened by this fall's water
deficit," French consultancy Agritel said.
CBOT March corn was up 13 cents at $6.12-1/2 a bushel.
A build-up of Russian troops along the country's border with
Ukraine also lent support.
"Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have reached a new
high, with U.S. and European officials speaking as if a military
conflict is imminent, which could shut down corn and wheat
exports from the region, further tightening world supplies,"
Strong global demand for wheat underpinned the market,
highlighted by fresh activity on the export market. State grain
buyers in both Jordan and Iran on Wednesday issued tenders to
Soybeans snapped back from three straight losing sessions.
CBOT March soybeans were up 24-1/4 cents at $13.85-1/2
(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and
Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; editing by John Stonestreet and