U.S. wheat, corn, soybean futures ease as traders take profits

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CHICAGO, Nov 18 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures closed lower on Thursday, with K.C. hard red winter wheat and MGEX spring wheat falling from multiyear peaks on a round of profit taking.

Declines were kept in check by concerns about tight supplies and strong demand, factors that pushed Paris wheat to a 14-year high.

Profit taking also weighed on soybeans and corn, which turned lower after rallying overnight.

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The benchmark Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat contract settled down 2-1/2 cents at $8.20 a bushel. K.C. December hard red winter wheat was 5-1/2 cents lower at $8.28-1/2 after peaking at $8.48-3/4, its highest since May 2014.

The wheat market had already priced in the flurry of export activity seen earlier in the week, said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

“If you look at the wheat business that was done overnight, that was already pretty much known,” Reilly said. “There are no big fresh import tenders like we saw earlier this week.”

March wheat on Paris-based Euronext was up 1.00 euros at 295.75 euros a tonne. The contract touched the highest price on a second-month position since September 2007.

Even though prices came off their highs, the combination of tight supplies and previously booked deals continued to underpin the wheat market.

On the supply side, heavy rain is threatening late damage to Australia’s harvest, flooding has disrupted export routes in Canada while dry conditions are raising early doubts about production in the United States and the Black Sea region. read more

“There is big demand for wheat right now, when wheat production is under the microscope,” a European trader said. “It may be a really tight balance sheet going forward.”

CBOT December corn was down 2-1/4 cents at $5.73 and CBOT January soybeans were 11-3/4 cents lower at $12.65-1/4.

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Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Edmund Blair and Jonathan Oatis

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