December 21, 2017 / 3:56 AM / 6 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat at two-week high as cold weather threatens U.S. crop

    * Wheat rises for 2nd session, hits highest since Dec. 7
    * Soybeans tick higher after falling for five sessions

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat edged higher on
Thursday to its highest in two weeks as concerns above-normal
temperatures across the U.S. grain belt underpinned the market.
    Soybeans rose as the market took a breather after dropping
for the last four sessions to their weakest since early October.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract
was up 0.2 percent at $4.24-1/2 a bushel by 0331 GMT, after
climbing to its highest since Dec. 7 at $4.25 a bushel.
    "Certainly, at these prices there is some support and we are
seeing unfavourable weather in the United States," said Phin
Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.
    "But it is a tough bet to see a sustained pick up in prices
as there are ample supplies."
    Temperatures in hard wheat-growing areas in the United
States are expected to be below normal next week, forecasters
    Sub-zero lows measured in Fahrenheit are not forecast to be
as widespread as thought earlier this week, but temperatures in
some areas may still be frigid enough to damage crops, they
    Soybeans rose 0.1 percent to $9.54-3/4 per bushel. The
market is trading not far from Wednesday's 2-1/2-month low of
$9.52-3/4 as rains in Brazil and Argentina are expected to
improve crop condition. Corn gained 0.1 percent to
$3.49-1/2 a bushel.
    Brazil and Argentina are on track for another year of bumper
soybean production as rains ease concerns over dry weather
brought by the La Nina weather phenomenon.
    Rains that fell on Argentina's main farm belt over the
weekend brought relief to parched soy and corn-growing land,
meteorologists said on Monday, allowing the planting of crops to
resume in most of the affected areas.
    China, the world's top soybean buyer, will reduce the amount
of foreign material allowed in shipments of U.S. soybeans as of
Jan. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, a move that may
curb imports.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat and
soymeal contracts on Wednesday and net sellers of soybeans and
soyoil, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0331 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  424.50  1.00    +0.24%   +0.95%       432.03  70
 CBOT corn   349.50  0.25    +0.07%   +0.72%       353.23  70
 CBOT soy    954.75  0.75    +0.08%   -0.70%       983.95  22
 CBOT rice   11.79   -$0.05  -0.46%   +0.64%       $12.03  43
 WTI crude   58.04   -$0.05  -0.09%   +1.54%       $57.10  60
 Euro/dlr    $1.187  $0.004  +0.30%   +0.78%               
 USD/AUD     0.7666  0.000   +0.03%   +0.07%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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