U.S. soybeans rose for a third consecutive session on Thursday, climbing to a nine-month high as buying by investment funds and concerns over adverse weather curbing yields in Argentina buoyed the market.
Corn edged lower as the market took a breather after rallying for seven consecutive sessions to its highest since August while wheat held near its highest in more than five months.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose as much as 0.9 percent to $10.28-1/2 a bushel, the strongest since July 16. Soybeans have jumped 7.5 percent in three sessions.
Corn fell 0.2 percent to $3.94 a bushel and wheat was unchanged at $5.12-1/4 a bushel.
Soybeans have been drawing support from funds amid concerns over excessive rains in Argentina.
"Unfavorable weather in South America and improved demand outlook in the U.S. boosted sentiment in agriculture markets," ANZ said in a research note. "With concerns over crops in Brazil and Argentina, buyers are turning to the U.S. This increased demand is being magnified by fears of a drought as the likelihood of a La Nina pattern later this year increases."
The La Nina weather pattern causes dryness in parts of the U.S. grain belt while bringing more rains to Asia. Much of Argentina's soy crop has been swamped by 20 days of rain, threatening a loss of supply from the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed and the No. 3 global supplier of beans, meteorologists said on Wednesday.
Trader estimates of net fund buying in corn ranged from 17,000 to 45,000 contracts, in soybeans from 18,000 to 30,000 contracts and in wheat from 9,000 to 18,000 contracts.
Analysis firm Lanworth, a unit of Thomson Reuters, slashed its forecast for Argentina's soybean production by 1 percent to 62.7 million tonnes due to rainfall at the time of harvest.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast is for 59 million tonnes.
The gain in the wheat market could be short-lived because of plentiful world supplies.
The European Union's wheat crop is developing well after a mild winter and Europe is on course for a good harvest but below last year's record, experts said on Wednesday.