* Soybeans fall as U.S. March crush comes below expectations
* Wheat firms on bargain-buying, recovers from 10-day low
(Adds details, quotes)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, April 18 Chicago soybean futures lost
more ground on Tuesday with prices pressured by lower U.S.
crushing in March and dry weather over the weekend aiding
Argentina's soybean crop.
Wheat rose after the market's drop to a 10-day low in the
previous session triggered a bout of bargain-basement buying.
The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract
was down 0.2 percent at $9.51-1/2 a bushel, as of 0305
GMT, while wheat added 0.3 percent to $4.22-1/4 a bushel.
The wheat market hit its lowest since April 7 at $4.19-3/4 a
bushel on Monday.
Corn rose 0.2 percent to $3.67-1/4 a bushel.
A monthly report showed that U.S. processors crushed fewer
soybeans than expected during March.
The National Oilseed Processors Association said its members
crushed 153.060 million bushels during March, up from 142.792
million bushels in February. But a year ago, the March crush
totalled 156.690 million bushels.
Analysts had expected a March crush of 156.728 million
bushels, based on an average of estimates in a Reuters survey.
Improved weather in Argentina boosted hopes of better
"Argentina experienced drier weather over the holiday
weekend, and weather forecasters expect it will continue to do
so over the next fortnight," said Tobin Gorey, director of
agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
"Consequently, it's looking less and less likely that
Argentina will see a repeat of last year's widespread
flood-related crop losses."
Still, the soybean market is likely to be underpinned by
strong demand from China in the months ahead. China, the world's
largest soybean buyer, imported 6.33 million tonnes of the beans
in March, a record for the month.
Improving crushing margins provided additional support for
the market. Margins for processing imported soybeans in Shandong
JCI-SBMG-SHDNI have started improving after hitting their
most-negative since August last week.
Wheat lost almost 3 percent in the last two sessions of
declines as rains improved prospects for the hard red winter
wheat crop across the U.S. grain belt. But bargain hunters have
supported the market as funds cover short positions.
Grains prices at 0305 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI
CBOT wheat 422.25 1.25 +0.30% -1.75% 430.01 40
CBOT corn 367.25 0.75 +0.20% -1.01% 363.77 55
CBOT soy 951.50 -1.75 -0.18% -0.42% 975.03 45
CBOT rice 10.10 -$0.01 -0.05% -0.83% $9.90 55
WTI crude 52.60 -$0.05 -0.09% -1.09% $50.13 63
Euro/dlr $1.065 $0.001 +0.10% +0.40%
USD/AUD 0.7559 -0.003 -0.36% -0.17%
Most active contracts
Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
RSI 14, exponential
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and