March 27, 2020 / 4:57 AM / in 7 days

GRAINS-Soybeans set for best week in 6 months on production shortfall worries

* Soybeans up 2.5% for the week, biggest gain since Oct

* Wheat poised to extend two-week gains to 10%

* Corn set to finish the week up 1%

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY, March 27 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose on Friday as concerns that the coronavirus pandemic will slow production set the oilseed on track for its best week in nearly six months.

Corn edged 0.4% lower but remained on course to post gains of around 1%, while wheat was set to finish the week up 5% for second straight week.

The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.5% at $8.84-3/4 a bushel by 0416 GMT after closing little changed in the previous session.

Soybeans are on course to finish the week up 2.5% this week and are on pact to post their biggest weekly gain since Oct. 4, 2019.

“The coronavirus pandemic will curtail production globally, which will be felt in China as they come through the worst of the virus,” said one Melbourne-based grains trader who declined to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

China’s soybean futures <DSAcv1< jumped more than 3% to 4,739 yuan a tonne, its highest since May 2018, as imported cargoes get delayed.

Chinese soybean processors fear the spread of coronavirus in major exporters could lead to further supply shortages, with some plants in the world’s biggest buyer already having to wind back operations, industry sources and traders said.

The most active corn futures were down 0.4% at $3.47-1/4 a bushel after closing little changed on Thursday.

The most active wheat futures is down 0.2% at $5.68 a bushel after closing down 2% on Thursday.

Despite large falls on Thursday, wheat is up about 5% for the week, after rising about 5% in the previous week.

Wheat has drawn sustained support in recent days as panic buying of food staples by consumers spurred flour demand and speculative buying on futures markets.

Russia’s agriculture ministry said on Thursday it expected domestic grain prices to stabilise in the near future and did not foresee any drop in the country’s supply of flour. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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