August 19, 2019 / 2:55 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Corn prices drop 1.4% on favourable U.S. weather; wheat eases

* Chicago corn futures lose ground after Friday’s higher close

* Milder weather in parts of U.S. Midwest boosts crop expectations (Adds details, quote)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures lost ground on Monday, giving up some of previous session’s gains as crop-friendly weather over the weekend in parts of the U.S. Midwest boosted hopes of bumper production.

Wheat slid almost 1%, falling for two of three sessions on supply pressure, while soybeans dropped amid prolonged U.S.-China trade war.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 1.4% at $3.75-1/4 a bushel, as of 0233 GMT, having gained 2.6% on Friday.

Soybeans were down 0.7% at $8.74 a bushel, having firmed 1% on Friday and wheat dropped 0.9% to $4.73 a bushel, after closing up 1.8% in the previous session.

“Seems it was a weekend of pretty favourable weather in the U.S. Midwest,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank. “Fingers crossed, the season is looking better.”

Corn and wheat prices have been under pressure amid forecasts for ample global supplies.

“U.S. Crop Watch producers collectively raised their yield expectations for both corn and soybeans ... after most of the locations received much-needed rain,” Karen Braun, Reuters analyst for agricultural markets wrote in a crop watch report.

“Temperatures have generally been very mild and favourable for the crops this summer, but several Crop Watch growers report that slightly above-average temperatures would be preferred going forward as the crop lags in maturity.”

U.S. President Donald Trump and top White House officials dismissed concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying on Sunday they saw little risk of recession despite a volatile week on global bond markets, and insisting their trade war with China was doing no damage to the United States.

However, he was less optimistic than his aides on striking a trade deal with China, saying that while he believed China was ready to come to an agreement, “I’m not ready to make a deal yet.”

Consultancy Strategie Grains raised its forecast for European Union wheat exports, citing increasingly competitive EU prices.

Large speculators cut their net long position in CBOT corn futures in the week ended Aug. 13, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and trimmed their net short position in soybeans. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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