August 12, 2019 / 2:18 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Corn, soybeans ease ahead of key USDA report; dryness curbs losses

    * Focus on USDA's supply-demand report due later on Monday
    * Losses curbed by dryness concerns in parts of U.S. Midwest

 (Adds details, quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Chicago corn and soybean
futures slid on Monday as traders squared positions ahead of a
U.S. supply-demand report, although losses were limited by
concerns over dry weather curbing yields in parts of the U.S.
    Wheat slid, falling for the first time in four sessions. 
    The most-active Chicago Board of Trade corn contract
fell 0.5% to $4.15-1/2 a bushel by 0154 GMT, soybeans lost
0.4% to $8.88-1/4 a bushel and wheat gave up 0.4% to
$4.97-3/4 a bushel.
    The spotlight is on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
(USDA) monthly report set for release later on Monday, which
will include highly anticipated revisions to rain-hit U.S. corn
and soybean planting.
    Analysts polled ahead of the USDA report expect the agency
to cut corn and soybean acreage and production estimates.

    "We feel the market has pretty much taken a majority of the
risk premium out over the last few weeks," said Ole Houe,
director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities.
    "A few weeks ago a lot of a bullish outlook for the August
USDA report was factored in but today it is not, so we think
that there is a real chance that the USDA report may provide
bullish news and market will react accordingly."
    Grain markets were supported last week by dry weather in
corn and soy production areas of the U.S. Midwest, which could
dent yield prospects after excessive spring rains that delayed
or prevented many farmers from planting.
    Markets are also monitoring developments in a deepening
trade war between the United States and China that has already
slashed U.S. agricultural exports to the world's top commodities
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he was not
ready to make a trade deal with China, fanning fears of a
drawn-out and disruptive trade dispute that is now in its second
    Russia has been granted permission to export wheat to Saudi
Arabia, Interfax news agency cited Russia's agriculture watchdog
as saying on Friday.
    Reuters earlier reported that Saudi Arabia planned to relax
its bug-damage specifications for wheat imports from its next
tender onwards, opening the door to Black Sea imports and
strengthening ties with Russia beyond energy cooperation.

    Ukraine, which expects its 2019 grain crop to be in line
with last year's level of around 70 million tonnes, had
harvested 36.8 million tonnes of early grains by Aug. 9, the
agriculture ministry said on Friday.
    Farmers have threshed 9.5 million hectares of grains or 95%
of the sown area, the ministry said in a statement. The
harvested volume includes 27.1 million tonnes of wheat and 8.5
million tonnes of barley.
 Grains prices at 0154 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  497.75  -1.75   -0.35%   -0.15%       500.28  54
 CBOT corn   415.50  -2.25   -0.54%   -0.66%       428.46  48
 CBOT soy    888.25  -3.50   -0.39%   +0.59%       897.26  58
 CBOT rice   11.37   $0.00   +0.00%   +0.13%       $11.76  32
 WTI crude   54.19   -$0.31  -0.57%   +3.14%       $56.54  
 Euro/dlr    $1.121  $0.001  +0.07%   +0.25%               
 USD/AUD     0.6781  -0.001  -0.09%   -0.28%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)
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