April 20, 2017 / 1:32 AM / 7 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat hovers near 2-1/2-week low on ample global supply

MANILA, April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures slipped on Thursday, hovering near a 2-1/2-week low hit in the previous session, on plentiful global supply, while corn and soybeans were largely steady.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chicago Board of Trade wheat for May delivery was off 0.1 percent at $4.18-1/2 a bushel by 0101 GMT. The contract briefly touched $4.17-3/4, a tad off Wednesday’s trough which was the lowest since March 31.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey said U.S. wheat exports for the 2016 season look likely to be, at best, 1 million tonnes below the USDA’s current forecasts “unless there are chunky late sales.”

* Gorey also said the firmer dollar is “eating into U.S. competitiveness against almost every other major competitor with the exception of the European Union.”

* Traders said the market focus remained on ample global supply despite emerging weather worries in Europe where crops face spring frosts this week on top of recent dryness.

* Chicago corn was steady at $3.62 per bushel and soybeans were flat at $9.50.

* The Brazilian government will offer up to $159 million in subsidies to help corn producers sell their large crop in the 2016/17 cycle.

* Argentine farmers are expected to plant 5.5 million hectares with wheat and harvest 17.5 million tonnes in the upcoming 2017-18 season compared with 16.3 million tonnes in 2016-17.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar traded above lows hit earlier this week as investors anxiously awaited this weekend’s first round of presidential voting in France.

* Oil prices regained some lost ground with a slight drop in U.S. crude inventories stoking hopes that a push to rein in global oversupply could be gathering at least some momentum.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0600 Germany Producer prices Mar

1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims

1230 U.S. Philly Fed business index Apr

1330 IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds briefing

1400 Euro zone Consumer confidence flash Mar

1400 U.S. Leading index Mar

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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