April 27, 2018 / 3:04 AM / 24 days ago

GRAINS-Soybeans up for fourth day on hopes of Chinese buying, Argentina crop losses

    * Soybeans rise on hopes of China's return to U.S. market
    * Lower yields in Argentina after drought support prices
    * Wheat firm as dry weather curbs U.S. winter crop output

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, April 27 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures rose
for a fourth consecutive session on Friday with the market set
to finish the week on a positive note on expectations of Chinese
buying and lower crop yields in Argentina following a severe
drought.
    Wheat gained ground, rising for three in four sessions on
concerns over U.S. winter crop, while corn ticked higher after
closing marginally lower with ample world supplies keeping a lid
on the market.
    Soybean futures are being underpinned on hopes of a pickup
in demand from China, the world's top buyer of the oilseed.
    China's purchases of U.S. soybeans have come to a grinding
halt as fears of further action by Beijing to curb imports of
U.S. crops following last week's anti-dumping move on sorghum
rattled the agriculture industry.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said weekly export
sales of soybeans came in at 537,800 tonnes, down from 2.13
million tonnes a week ago. Analysts had expected soybean export
sales in a range from 800,000 tonnes to 1.4 million tonnes.

    "Soybean prices continue to steer clear of modestly lower
price levels where a dangerous minefield of momentum triggers
await," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at
Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    "Investors, heavily long soybean futures, might be prompted
into explosions of selling if prices drift down."
    Commodity funds were net sellers of Chicago Board of Trade
wheat and corn futures contracts on Thursday. They were net even
in soybeans and net buyers of soymeal and soyoil.
    Declining yields in Argentina supported the soybean market.
More than half of Argentina's 2017-18 soy crop has been
harvested with yields coming in at an average 2.4 tonnes per
hectare, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday,
warning that yields will likely fall as harvesting continues.
    The excessively hot and dry weather has reduced yields from
their average of 2.9 tonnes per hectare over recent years.
    For the week, soybeans are up slightly after closing
1.3 percent lower last week, wheat has gained more than 3
percent and corn has added more than five percent after
losing ground for the last two weeks.
    Corn export sales of 620,500 tonnes, down from 1.20 million
tonnes, also were well below trade expectations. Export sales of
wheat totalled 577,900 tonnes.
    Wheat prices are being supported by dry weather in the
southern U.S. Plains. 
    The International Grains Council on Thursday made a slight
increase to its forecast for 2018/19 global corn production
although a drawdown in stocks is still anticipated for a second
successive season.
    The inter-governmental body, in a monthly report, increased
its forecast for the 2018/19 corn crop by 2 million tonnes to
1.054 billion tonnes.

 Grains prices at 0242 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  492.25   2.75     +0.56%   +1.65%       479.91   58
 CBOT corn   396.00   0.75     +0.19%   +1.41%       391.60   58
 CBOT soy    1041.50  2.00     +0.19%   +0.73%       1046.39  45
 CBOT rice   12.93    -$0.02   -0.15%   -1.52%       $12.67   38
 WTI crude   67.98    -$0.21   -0.31%   +0.41%       $65.35   61
 Currencies                                                   
 Euro/dlr    $1.211   -$0.005  -0.42%   -1.00%                
 USD/AUD     0.7552   -0.001   -0.15%   -0.67%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
    

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips
and Gopakumar Warrier)
  
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