Asia Grains-Malaysia, Indonesia buy U.S. wheat; Indian soymeal prices firm

Reuters

* Malaysia, Indonesia buy U.S. wheat for Jan-Feb shipment

* Indian soymeal prices firm as late rains damage crop

* Vietnamese mills take U.S. soymeal in containers

* S.American corn prices rise to $247/T on higher futures

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Flour millers in Malaysia andIndonesia have bought 35,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat in recentdeals while Indian soymeal prices remained firm on concerns overlate season rains damaging the soybean crop.

U.S. white wheat was sold to mills at around $300 a tonne,including cost and freight, while spring wheat was traded at$360-$370 a tonne, traders said.

Chicago wheat futures are taking a breather afterrising for four consecutive weeks to the highest since late Juneas adverse weather hit output in key producing countries.

A Singapore-based mill also bought about 20,000 tonnes ofU.S. white and spring varieties of wheat, traders said.

South Korean flour miller Samyang Milmax Corp has bought atotal of 23,000 tonnes of U.S. milling wheat via tenders, aSouth Korean trader said.

The flour miller purchased wheat from Cargill, the tradersaid, but declined to disclose prices.

South American corn was offered marginally higher inSoutheast Asia at $247 a tonne, C&F, on the back of higher U.S.futures.

"Corn prices have firmed this week but there is not muchdemand in Southeast Asia," said one feed grains trader inSingapore. "Indonesia and Vietnam are booked up to January andFebruary and other are in no hurry to buy."

Malaysia has yet to cover some 60,000 tonnes of corn forJanuary shipment but feed makers have yet to hit the market tobook supplies.

CORN PRICES RISE

Chicago corn futures are up 2.7 percent this week, thebiggest weekly gain since mid-July on demand led by China, whichhas been snapping up U.S. cargoes.

Chinese agricultural consultancy Shanghai JC Intelligencesaid China has bought nearly 1.2 million tonnes of corn thismonth.

Grain processors in the Philippines are eyeing around 80,000of Australian feed wheat for January shipment, with prices ofBlack Sea wheat rising on concerns over lower production,traders said.

"Australian wheat shipments to the Philippines enjoy a taxbenefit of around 7 percent which makes the wheat attractiveform feed millers," the Singapore trader said.

"They need wheat for arrival in January and by thenAustralia's new-crop supplies will be available in the market."

Indian soymeal prices remained firm at around $560-$570 atonne, C&F, on reports that late rains in parts of the crop beltin central India have damaged the quality of beans.

"They have quality issues with meal as moisture content inbeans is too high," said a second Singapore trader who sellssoymeal and corn into Asia. "The supply of high-protein meal istight in India."

Vietnamese feed makers booked soymeal in containers from theUnited States, which is making competitive offers.

U.S. soymeal is being offered at a premium of $110 a tonneover December Chicago futures on a C&F basis as comparedwith $127 premium for Argentine meal, traders said.

Taiwan's Breakfast Soybean Procurement Association purchased60,000 tonnes of soybeans to be sourced from the United Statesin an international tender this week.

The purchase was made at a premium of $2.5249 a bushel C&Fover the Chicago July soybean contract, traders said. Theseller was Japanese trading group Zen-Noh. (Editing by Tom Hogue)

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