CHICAGO, Nov 23 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures climbed to
$12 a bushel on Monday for the first time in four years as dry
conditions in parts of Brazil and Argentina stoked concerns
about supplies of the oilseed, analysts said.
Corn advanced, also lifted by worries about dryness in South
America, and wheat futures followed the firm trend.
Chicago Board of Trade January soybean futures settled
up 10-1/2 cents at $11.91-1/2 per bushel after touching $12 in
opening moves, the highest price for a most-active soybean
futures contract since June 2016.
CBOT March corn ended up 5 cents at $4.33-1/4 a bushel
and March wheat finished up 5 cents at $6.04-1/2 a bushel.
Weekend rains were limited to far northern areas of Brazil's
soy belt, space technology company Maxar said in a crop weather
note, and forecasts for this week were not much better.
"Rainfall amounts are expected to be light in most areas,
which will maintain dryness concerns across most of Brazil,
stressing corn and soybeans," the Maxar note said.
Brazil is the world's top soybean exporter and Argentina is
No. 3 after the United States.
The Chicago soybean futures forward curve shows prices have
jumped for all contracts through to the middle of next year.
Corn futures drew support from fresh export demand. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed private sales of
334,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to unknown destinations, the latest
in a series of daily corn sales announcements.
"Corn is also firm on poor South American crop weather,
including in Argentina, with more export demand also expected,
with U.S. corn looking the cheapest in the world," said Matt
Ammermann, StoneX commodity risk manager.
CBOT wheat followed the strength in corn and soybeans, but
gains in K.C. hard red winter wheat were capped by
weekend rains that bolstered wheat crop prospects in parts of
Kansas and Oklahoma.
However, after the close, the USDA's weekly crop progress
report showed that U.S. winter wheat ratings declined in the
latest week. The USDA rated 43% of the crop in good to excellent
condition, down from 46% a week earlier, bucking analyst
expectations for a 1-point improvement.
(Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore;
Editing by Barbara Lewis and Matthew Lewis)