February 5, 2018 / 4:10 AM / 7 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat drops 4th straight session as U.S. weather improves; corn, soybeans down

    * Chicago wheat hits lowest since Jan. 26, down 1.5 pct
    * Protective snow cover across U.S. Midwest pressures prices
    * Soybeans at 2-week low on outlook for Argentina rains

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures slid 1.5
percent on Monday, falling a fourth consecutive session to its
lowest in more than a week, as heavy snow across the U.S.
Midwest eases dry weather worry. 
    Soybeans fell to their lowest since Jan. 18, and corn fell
almost 1 percent, with forecasts of rains in Argentina's parched
farming areas putting pressure on prices. 
    The Chicago Board Of Trade most-active wheat contract
lost 1.5 percent to $4.40-1/4 a bushel by 0323 GMT, not far off
$4.39-1/4 a bushel, its lowest since Jan. 26. 
    Soybeans fell 0.7 percent to $9.72-1/4 a bushel, near
the session low of $9.71-3/4 a bushel, the weakest since Jan.
18. Corn gave up 0.8 percent to $3.58-1/2 a bushel. 
    "We are in the weather market. Wheat prices are coming down
as there has been snowfall around the U.S. Midwest," said one
India-based commodities analyst. 
    "Forecasts are showing signs of decent rainfall in
Argentina, which should improve both soybeans and corn
    Snow falls across the U.S. Midwest provided a protective
snow cover, as well as much needed moisture for crops. Further
snow is expected. 
    Informa Economics, a private analytics firm, lowered its
estimates of Argentina's 2017/18 corn and soybean crops,
according to an Informa client note seen by Reuters on Friday. 
    The firm estimated Argentina's 2017/18 corn crop at 37.0
million tonnes, down 5 million tonnes from a prior forecast. It
also noted below-normal rainfall Argentina's crop belt. 
    Informa put 2017/18 Argentine soybean production at 51
million tonnes, down 3.5 million from its previous estimate. 
    But rains in the weeks ahead are expected to boost corn and
soybean yields in the South American supplier. 
    China's corn futures climbed in early trading on Monday
after Beijing launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe
into sorghum imports from the United States, a move that
analysts and traders said could boost demand for local corn. 
    The most-active corn futures on the Dalian Commodity
Exchange rose 0.7 percent to 1,817 yuan ($288.50) per
tonne on Monday morning. 
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat,
soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures on Friday, traders said.
    Recent weather concerns in the U.S. and Argentina had
earlier prompted funds to cover their short positions in
agriculture futures. 

 Grains prices at 0323 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  440.25  -6.50   -1.45%   -2.55%       431.79  51
 CBOT corn   358.50  -3.00   -0.83%   -0.83%       352.98  54
 CBOT soy    972.25  -6.50   -0.66%   -2.36%       972.86  38
 CBOT rice   12.49   $0.02   +0.20%   +0.36%       $12.08  72
 WTI crude   64.73   -$0.72  -1.10%   +0.00%       $62.74  53
 Euro/dlr    $1.246  $0.004  +0.35%   +0.55%               
 USD/AUD     0.7929  -0.018  -2.22%   -1.23%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential
    ($1 = 6.2978 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral
Editing by Tom Hogue)
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