May 9, 2018 / 3:54 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Corn, soybean prices up for 2nd day on U.S. planting delays

    * Corn, soybean prices firm as rains expected to delay US
    * Wheat eases on ample global supply, improved US weather

 (Adds comment, detail)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, May 9 (Reuters) - Chicago corn and soybean
futures extended gains into a second session on Wednesday, with
crop planting expected to be delayed in key growing regions of
the U.S. Midwest.
    Wheat lost ground, falling for three out of four sessions,
on expectations of improved weather for the drought-hit U.S.
winter wheat crop.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract
had gained 0.1 percent to $4.03-3/4 a bushel by 0335 GMT, while
soybeans added 0.1 percent to $10.21 a bushel.
    Wheat lost 0.4 percent to $5.12-1/4 a bushel.
    The focus in corn and soybean markets remains on U.S.
planting weather.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) late on Monday
said that the U.S. soybean crop was 15 percent seeded, ahead of
the five-year average of 14 percent. The corn crop was
39-percent planted, behind the five-year average of 44 percent.
    However, progress lagged in key states such as Minnesota and
North Dakota, and weather forecasts show rains in that region
this week that should stall field work.
    In Argentina, heavy rains have complicated the harvest of a
soybean crop that has already been slashed by drought.

    Still, gains in soybean prices are being capped by slowing
purchases by top importer China. The nation's April soybean
imports fell to 6.9 million tonnes, much lower than expected, as
arrivals were delayed because of tougher port inspections and a
tax change, said traders and analysts.
    The 13.7-percent drop from a year ago to less than 7 million
tonnes caught the market by surprise. China had been expected to
take 8.5 million tonnes in April, higher than last year, amid
good crushing margins in the world's top buyer of the beans.
    Investors and traders are adjusting positions ahead of the
USDA's monthly supply-demand report due on Thursday, which will
include the government's first official forecasts for the
2018-19 crop year.
    For wheat, there was pressure from abundant world supplies
and a slight improvement in the condition of the U.S. winter
    "There is some improvement in U.S. weather outlook but we
are not yet sure if it will make a huge difference," said a
trader at an international trading company in Singapore.
    "As far as importers are concerned, they are fine as Black
Sea production looks good."
    The USDA late Monday rated 34 percent of the U.S. winter
wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition, up from 33 percent
last week.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean, wheat
and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday. They were net sellers
of soyoil, traders said. 
    The USDA has postponed several adjustments announced in
April to its monthly world supply and demand reports, probably
until next month, a government official said on Tuesday.
 Grains prices at  0335 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  512.25   -2.25    -0.44%   -2.66%       492.05   59
 CBOT corn   403.75   0.50     +0.12%   -0.62%       396.03   58
 CBOT soy    1021.00  0.75     +0.07%   -1.52%       1045.57  38
 CBOT rice   12.74    -$0.02   -0.12%   -1.47%       $12.99   33
 WTI crude   70.67    $1.61    +2.33%   -0.08%       $66.86   65
 Euro/dlr    $1.185   -$0.013  -1.11%   -0.80%                
 USD/AUD     0.7434   -0.009   -1.26%   -0.80%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral
Editing by Joseph Radford)
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