December 19, 2017 / 1:32 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybean prices near lowest since early Oct, S.America weather weighs

    SINGAPORE, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures ticked
down on Tuesday, with the market trading near its lowest in
almost 11 weeks as forecasts of rains in Argentina's drought-hit
oilseed growing areas weighed on prices.
    Wheat rose for a second session on concerns over a lack of
snow cover in the U.S. Plains leaving the crop vulnerable to
cold temperatures.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Rains that fell on Argentina's main farm belt over the
weekend brought relief to parched soybean and corn-growing land,
meteorologists said on Monday, allowing the planting of crops to
resume in most of the affected areas.
    * Argentina is the world's top exporter of soymeal used in
livestock feed and the No. 3 corn supplier.
    * Brazilian farmers are expected to produce 114.57 million
tonnes of soybeans in the 2017/18 crop cycle, consultancy Safras
& Mercado said on Monday. The figure represents a slight
downward adjustment from an October estimate of 114.7 million
tonnes, although it would still be an all-time high for Brazil.
    * Speculation that the U.S. Department of Agriculture may
raise its U.S. corn production estimate next month weighed on
prices after private analytics firm Informa Economics lifted its
estimate on Friday.
    * Reviewing the most recent U.S. harvest, the firm put the
2017 corn yield at 176.6 bushels per acre, above the USDA's last
estimate of 175.4.
    * For wheat, a combination of delays to autumn planting and
dry conditions in the southern U.S. Plains have left the hard
red winter crop vulnerable to freeze damage, crop experts said,
which could further tighten supplies of high-protein wheat.

    * Russian wheat export prices fell last week as competition
with Romanian wheat was intensified by the latest Egyptian
purchase, analysts said on Monday.
    * Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer and the biggest
buyer of Russian wheat, bought 295,000 tonnes of Russian and
Romanian wheat in a state tender on Dec. 12.
    * In Europe, the absence of damaging low temperatures across
most of the region has limited frost kill to grain crops so far
this season but it has also left them fragile to a cold spell,
the European Union's crop monitor said on Monday.
    * Commodity funds were net sellers of Chicago Board of Trade
soybean, corn, soymeal and soyoil contracts on Monday, traders
said.
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * Asian stocks advanced on Tuesday after a record-setting
session on Wall Street on bets that U.S. lawmakers would pass a
major tax overhaul, while the dollar sagged as traders were less
sanguine about the bill's economic impact.
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0900  Germany             Ifo business climate           Dec
1000  Euro zone           Labour costs                   Q3
1330  U.S.                Current account                Q3
1330  U.S.                Housing starts                 Nov
1330  U.S.                Building permits               Nov
    
 Grains prices at  0115 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  420.75  0.25    +0.06%   +0.60%       432.80  68
 CBOT corn   346.75  -0.25   -0.07%   -0.22%       353.61  63
 CBOT soy    961.00  -0.50   -0.05%   -0.65%       985.49  26
 CBOT rice   11.72   $0.01   +0.09%   +0.13%       $12.02  37
 WTI crude   57.22   $0.06   +0.10%   -0.14%       $57.07  51
 Currencies                                                
 Euro/dlr    $1.178  $0.000  -0.02%   +0.23%               
 USD/AUD     0.7663  0.000   +0.03%   +0.25%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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