August 9, 2019 / 2:38 AM / 11 days ago

GRAINS-Corn, soybeans set for weekly gains ahead of USDA report

    * Corn, soybeans poised for 1st weekly gain in four weeks
    * Traders square positions ahead of USDA monthly report

 (Adds details, quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Chicago corn and soybean
futures were little changed on Friday as traders squared
positions ahead of a U.S. government report next week, which is
expected to clarify how many acres have been planted, with both
the markets poised for weekly gains.
    The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of
Trade is up 2.2% this week after falling for the last three
weeks, while soybeans and wheat have risen 1.7%. 
    "The USDA's next set of crop estimates are published on
Monday. The market is likely to continue positioning ahead of
that report and it seems loose shorts are jumping off for now,"
said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy,
Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue monthly
supply and demand estimates next week that are likely to provide
a short-term focus amid widely differing market assessments of
this year's crop estimates.
    Rains and flooding resulted in record planting delays in
April and May across the U.S. Midwest.
    In the soybean market, the focus is on the intensifying
U.S.-China trade war.  
    China bought small amounts of U.S. soybeans, wheat, sorghum
and pork last week, ahead of the latest escalation of trade
tensions with Washington, according to U.S. government data
issued on Thursday, in what may be the last U.S. farm commodity
sales to China for the foreseeable future.
    China's Ministry of Commerce said this week that purchases
of U.S. agricultural products by Chinese companies have been
    A jump in prices for Brazilian soybeans is putting off
buyers in China, two traders said, even as the rise was driven
by expected demand from the world's No.2 economy as the trade
war with Washington escalates.
    Saudi Arabia will relax its bug-damage specifications for
wheat imports from its next tender onwards, it told Reuters on
Thursday, opening the door to Black Sea imports and
strengthening ties with Russia beyond energy cooperation.
    Russia has long sought access to Saudi Arabia's wheat market
as Moscow tries to take further market share in Middle Eastern
and North African wheat markets from the European Union and the
United States.
    Ukraine's grain exports have risen to about 4.7 million
tonnes so far in the 2019/20 July-June export season, up from
3.1 million tonnes at the same time last year, the agriculture
ministry said on Thursday.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat,
soybean, soymeal, soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders
 Grains prices at  0217 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  498.50  0.00    +0.00%   +2.10%       501.23  55
 CBOT corn   418.25  0.00    +0.00%   +1.03%       428.90  52
 CBOT soy    882.75  -0.25   -0.03%   +1.85%       898.11  50
 CBOT rice   11.32   -$0.04  -0.31%   -0.44%       $11.77  26
 WTI crude   52.65   $0.11   +0.21%   +3.05%       $56.62  
 Euro/dlr    $1.120  $0.002  +0.15%   -0.02%               
 USD/AUD     0.6810  0.001   +0.15%   +0.81%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford and
Shounak Dasgupta)
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