January 9, 2018 / 3:36 AM / 5 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat drops for fourth session, corn near three-week low

    * Wheat falls as U.S. warm temperatures ease crop concerns
    * Chicago corn ticks higher after dropping to three-week low

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat fell for a fourth
consecutive session on Tuesday with prices pressured by improved
weather conditions in the U.S. southern Plains although a lack
of protective snow cover kept a floor under the market.
    Corn ticked higher after dropping to a near three-week low
on Monday while soybeans were little changed, having closed
lower in the last session.
    The market focused on a monthly U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) report which is expected to show abundant
global supplies of grains and oilseeds.
    The most-active wheat contract of the Chicago Board of Trade
 slid 0.1 percent at $4.27-1/4 a bushel by 0314 GMT. It
ended Monday down 0.7 percent, after falling to as low as
$4.25-3/4, the weakest since Dec. 29.
    Corn gained 0.2 percent at $3.48 a bushel after
dropping to as low as $3.46-3/4 in the previous session, the
lowest since Dec. 19. Soybeans added 0.1 percent to
$9.67-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.4 percent on Monday.
    Wheat prices have been supported by fears that frigid
weather might damage crops across key U.S. producing regions,
which are already struggling with persistent dry weather.

    Temperatures warmed up and rains arrived in parts of
southern Plains wheat areas, alleviating some concerns about
damage to plants, before bitter-cold conditions return next
week, according to the Commodity Weather Group.
    "U.S. weather has been pretty cold and wheat areas have very
little snow cover," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at
National Australia Bank. Snow helps to insulate winter wheat
crops from damage caused by cold temperatures. 
    "Russia also has weather issues but we always talk about
these concerns and at the end we get a decent harvest."
    Analysts expect the USDA to show abundant global grain and
soybean supplies in monthly and quarterly reports due on Friday.
The reports tend to spur increased volatility in futures.

    For soybeans, the drought afflicting Argentina's crop belt
is expected to worsen this week, pushing farmers to risk
planting later than usual and raising the risk of frosts later
in the season, a meteorologist and a farmer said on Monday.

    In Brazil, a cold front which is prompting rains in the
southeast and center-west may delay early harvesting, weather
forecaster Marco Antonio dos Santos said in a Monday report.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat,
soybean, soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Monday, traders
 Grains prices at 0314 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  427.25  -0.50   -0.12%   -1.56%       426.38  49
 CBOT corn   348.00  0.75    +0.22%   -0.85%       351.52  43
 CBOT soy    967.50  0.75    +0.08%   -0.03%       984.58  48
 CBOT rice   11.99   $0.10   +0.84%   +2.39%       $12.20  46
 WTI crude   62.19   $0.46   +0.75%   +1.22%       $58.64  76
 Euro/dlr    $1.197  $0.001  +0.07%   -0.46%               
 USD/AUD     0.7861  0.002   +0.27%   -0.01%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Christian
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