March 15, 2018 / 3:08 AM / 3 days ago

GRAINS-Soybeans edge higher from 3-week low, U.S. acreage weighs

    * Soybeans recover from lowest since Feb. 21
    * Market facing pressure from forecast of higher U.S.
    * Wheat rises for 2nd day as drought hits U.S. winter crop

 (Adds details, background, analyst quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, March 15 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures
ticked higher on Thursday after dropping to a three-week low
early in the session as the market remained under pressure from
a forecast of a higher planted area in the United States. 
    Wheat rose for a second session as drought in the U.S.
Plains is expected to curb winter wheat yields.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean
contract added 0.4 percent to $10.36-1/4 a bushel by 0120 GMT
after falling to $10.27 a bushel, the weakest since Feb. 21.
    Wheat gained 0.9 percent to $4.93 a bushel and corn
 rose 0.3 percent to $3.89-3/4 a bushel. 
    U.S. farmers are expected to plant a record 92.104 million
acres of soybeans in 2018 and 88.514 million acres of corn,
according to an annual survey conducted by commodity brokerage
and analytical firm Allendale Inc.
    U.S. soybean plantings are widely expected to be ahead of
corn for the first time since 1983, as price ratios point to
higher profits in soy.
    U.S. cash prices for soybeans eased this week as global
buyers turned attention to a record soy harvest in Brazil, and
amid fears that top importer China would retaliate against U.S.
soybeans due to steel and aluminium tariffs announced last week
by President Donald Trump.
    "The worries about U.S.-China soybean trade have no doubt
helped persuade some that holding a long position real or de
facto – is not a good idea," said Tobin Gorey, director of
agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    The wheat market is being underpinned by expectations of a
lower U.S. crop.
    The governor of top wheat state Kansas declared a drought
emergency in 28 counties and issued drought warnings and watches
for the rest of the state.
    Weather models continue to dabble with rain next week in the
U.S. hard red winter wheat regions that are critically dry. 
Weather forecasters though remain sceptical that the event will
bring enough rain to make a meaningful difference to crops. 
    The state buying agency for major wheat importer Egypt
announced a tender seeking global offers of wheat for shipment
from April 15-25.
    IKAR, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in
Moscow, said on Wednesday it had raised its forecast for
Russia's 2017/18 wheat exports to 38.5 million tonnes from the
previously expected 37.5 million tonnes.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, corn,
soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Wednesday and net buyers
of wheat futures, traders said.
 Grains prices at 0252 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  493.00   4.25    +0.87%   +1.34%       479.44   61
 CBOT corn   389.75   1.00    +0.26%   -0.51%       379.14   65
 CBOT soy    1036.25  4.00    +0.39%   -1.19%       1034.27  40
 CBOT rice   12.41    $0.07   +0.53%   +1.10%       $12.42   39
 WTI crude   61.11    $0.15   +0.25%   +0.66%       $61.88   43
 Euro/dlr    $1.238   $0.001  +0.09%   -0.10%                
 USD/AUD     0.7884   0.001   +0.09%   +0.34%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin and
Biju Dwarakanath)
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