February 21, 2018 / 2:22 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Soybean prices edge down, but still close to highest in nearly 7 mths

    SYDNEY, Feb 21 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean prices inched down
on Wednesday, but stayed close to their highest in nearly seven
months on concerns that dry weather in Argentina could cause
large-scale production losses.
         
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of
Trade were down 0.4 percent at $10.22 a bushel by 0201
GMT. They firmed 0.5 percent on Tuesday, when prices hit their
highest in nearly seven months at $10.39 a bushel.
    * The most active corn futures were down 0.1 percent
at $3.65-1/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.5 percent in the
previous session.
    * The most active wheat futures were down 0.2 percent
at $4.48-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 1.9 percent on
Tuesday. 
    * Sizzling conditions in Argentina since November have
prompted traders and analysts to slash harvest estimates,
fuelling projections that export business could shift to the
United States from South America.
    * Argentine farm consultancy Agripac cut its forecast for
soybean production by about 18 percent from the start of the
season to 47 million tonnes and its corn crop estimate by 12
percent to 37 million tonnes.
         
    MARKET NEWS  
    * The dollar steadied against a basket of currencies on
Wednesday, having pulled up from three-year lows set last week
as traders shaved off some of the bearish bets against the U.S.
currency.  
    * Oil prices fell on Wednesday, weighed down as the U.S.
dollar moved further away from three-year lows hit last week.
  
    * The Dow and S&P 500 fell on Tuesday to snap a six-session
winning streak as a sharp decline in Walmart weighed heavily,
but gains in Amazon and chip stocks helped the Nasdaq hold near
the unchanged mark.  
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0800  France      Markit manufacturing PMI flash          Feb
0830  Germany     Markit manufacturing PMI flash          Feb
0900  Euro zone   Markit manufacturing PMI flash          Feb
1445  U.S.        Markit manufacturing PMI flash          Feb
1500  U.S.        Existing home sales                     Jan
1900 Federal Reserve to release minutes from January meeting
    
 Grains prices at  0201 GMT
 Contract       Last  Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg   MA 30   RSI 
 CBOT wheat   448.50   -0.75   -0.17%       -2.02%  442.27     44
 CBOT corn    365.25   -0.25   -0.07%       -0.61%  358.57     54
 CBOT soy    1022.00   -4.50   -0.44%       +0.05%  988.09     70
 CBOT rice     11.86   $0.00   +0.04%       -1.29%  $12.21     27
 WTI crude     61.33  -$0.46   -0.74%       -0.57%  $63.20     45
 Currencies                                                      
 Euro/dlr     $1.234  $0.000   +0.03%       -0.54%               
 USD/AUD      0.7875  -0.001   -0.08%       -0.46%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 
 (Reporting by Colin Packham
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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