February 23, 2018 / 3:15 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Soybeans face 3rd week of gains as Argentina drought hits supplies

    * Soybeans up for 4th session, trade near highest since
    * Poor rains in parts of Argentina seen reducing supplies

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures rose
for a fourth consecutive session on Friday, with the market set
for a third week of gains as a severe drought in parts of
Argentina's oilseed producing regions is expected to reduce
    Wheat edged higher but the market is facing its first weekly
loss in six weeks on improved weather across U.S. southern
Plains and abundant global supplies.
    The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of
Trade is up 2.3 percent this week, the third straight
weekly gain. Soybeans on Thursday hit a high of $10.48-1/4 a
bushel - the highest since March.
    Wheat is down 0.8 percent, the first weekly fall in
six weeks and corn is set to end the week little changed,
following 1.5 percent gains last week.
    "Analyst's pre-season estimates of Argentina's soybean crop
were around 55 million tonnes. An earlier round of estimate
revisions took that down to 50 million tonnes and the latest
round of revisions has production down to 47 million tonnes,"
said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    "And that might not be the end of it."
    Argentina remains the focus for the soybean market, with
traders assessing production downgrades by forecasters along
with prospects for light rain next week.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday predicted
U.S. plantings of corn and soybeans at 90 million acres each and
wheat slightly above last year's at 46.5 million acres. The
estimates were generally in line with analyst expectations.

    The government will issue longer-term supply and demand
forecasts as well as weekly U.S. export sales results on Friday.

    The global wheat market is expected to see the first
drawdown in stocks in six seasons in 2018/19 with production
forecast to fall, the International Grains Council said on
    The IGC also cut its forecast for 2017/18 global corn
production by six million tonnes to 1.048 billion tonnes, partly
reflecting diminished crop prospects in Argentina and Brazil.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and wheat
futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of soybeans and
soymeal futures, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0256 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  454.00   2.75     +0.61%   +1.51%       443.52  54
 CBOT corn   367.25   0.50     +0.14%   +0.41%       359.78  65
 CBOT soy    1034.00  2.00     +0.19%   -0.02%       993.41  80
 CBOT rice   12.02    $0.00    +0.00%   +1.39%       $12.21  43
 WTI crude   62.83    $0.06    +0.10%   +1.86%       $63.18  60
 Euro/dlr    $1.231   -$0.002  -0.14%   +0.24%               
 USD/AUD     0.7832   -0.001   -0.17%   +0.37%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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