December 15, 2017 / 2:10 AM / 6 months ago

GRAINS-Soybeans on track for biggest weekly fall since Aug

    MANILA, Dec 15 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures were steady
on Friday, but were on course to post their steepest weekly loss
in more than four months on expectations of rains in Argentina,
the world's third biggest supplier.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Soybeans for March delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade 
      were flat at $9.68 a bushel, as of 0201 GMT, and have lost
2.2 percent so far this week, the most since the week ended Aug.
4.
    * While the market had been supported by worries over dry
conditions in some of Argentina's soybean regions, "weather
forecasters have become more confident that weekend and
subsequent rain events will dispel these worries," Commonwealth
Bank of Australia analyst Tobin Gorey said in a note.
    * Argentina's Rosario exchange raised its 2017-18 wheat crop
estimate to 17.3 million tonnes compared with 16.3 million
tonnes previously, the exchange said on Wednesday, citing
higher-than-expected yields.             
    * But the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said the drought that
has blighted Argentina's Pampas farm belt since November could
lead to a cut in the estimated 2017/18 soybean planting area. 
            
    * Chicago wheat      , which touched an 11-month low on
Tuesday, rose 0.3 percent to $4.19-1/2 a bushel, and was little
changed for the week.
    * Corn       was flat at $3.48-1/2 per bushel and down more
than 1 percent on week.
    * Analyst firm Strategie Grains lowered its monthly forecast
for EU soft wheat exports this season as it factored in stiff
competition on world markets and very slow shipments from
Germany and Poland.             
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * Asian shares edged higher, on track for weekly gains,
though sentiment was kept in check by Wall Street's weakness on
concerns about the progress of U.S. tax reform.            
    * The dollar was on the defensive after wrangling over a
bill to change the U.S. tax code dented confidence, while the
euro sagged after the European Central Bank signalled it would
maintain stimulus for as long as needed.       
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    1000  Euro zone            Eurostat trade                Oct
    1330  U.S.                 New York Fed manufacturing    Dec
    1415  U.S.                 Industrial production         Nov
    

 (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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