May 8, 2018 / 3:37 AM / 9 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat drops to 1-wk low as US crop condition improves; soybeans firm

    * Chicago wheat falls for 3rd session, hits lowest since May
    * Forecasts of rains across U.S. grain belt weigh on prices

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, May 8 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures slid for
a third consecutive session on Tuesday and hit a one-week low as
a slight improvement in U.S. winter crop ratings and ample world
supplies weighed on prices.
    Soybeans edged higher following last session's sharp fall,
with record Brazilian supplies and slow demand from top importer
China expected to keep a lid on the market.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract
was down 0.2 percent at $5.10-1/2 a bushel by 0312 GMT, after
hitting its lowest since May 1 at $5.09 a bushel earlier in the
    Soybeans gained 0.1 percent to $10.12-3/4 a bushel,
having slid 2.4 percent on Monday, while corn lost 0.1
percent to $4.00-1/4 a bushel.
    "Weather model's evolving projections might have been a
catalyst for all three players to sell," Tobin Gorey, director
of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia,
said, referring to producers, traders and investors.
    "The last few projections have some wetter weather in very
dry Hard Red Winter wheat regions of the U.S."
    After the Chicago Board of Trade closed on Monday, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its weekly crop progress
report rated 34 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop in
good-to-excellent condition, up from 33 percent a week earlier.
    There are forecasts of more rains in the U.S. southern
Plains for the Hard Red Winter wheat crop which has suffered due
to dry weather.
    Russia is on track for a record wheat crop, while Ukraine is
expecting a bumper harvest in the months ahead.
    Soybean prices are expected to face pressure from a record
Brazilian crop and weak demand from top importer China.
    Brazilian consultancy AgRural raised its estimate of
Brazil's 2017-18 soybean harvest to a record high of 119.2
million tonnes from 119 million tonnes in April.
    Worries also persist about export demand for U.S. soybeans
after trade talks between U.S. and China officials ended last
week without major agreements. China's top economic envoy will
visit Washington next week to resume trade talks with the Trump
administration, the White House said.
    The USDA said the U.S. corn crop was 39 percent planted, up
from 17 percent in the previous week and above an average of
analyst expectations for 37 percent.
    In news which could support corn prices, Brazil's second
corn crop this year is expected to drop after a reduction in
planted area and a drought in key producing regions, AgRural
said on Monday as it revised its monthly production forecast.
    AgRural estimated Brazil's second corn crop, which is
planted after soybeans are harvested, will fall to 57.2 million
tonnes in the center-south, a 4.5 percent reduction from its
April forecast.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, corn,
soymeal and wheat futures contracts on Monday. They were net
buyers of soyoil, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0312 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  510.50   -1.00    -0.20%   -5.11%       490.55   58
 CBOT corn   400.25   -0.50    -0.12%   -1.90%       395.33   54
 CBOT soy    1012.75  1.25     +0.12%   -3.85%       1046.14  32
 CBOT rice   12.79    $0.02    +0.16%   -1.73%       $12.99   31
 WTI crude   69.98    -$0.75   -1.06%   +0.37%       $66.71   64
 Euro/dlr    $1.192   -$0.006  -0.53%   -0.22%                
 USD/AUD     0.7504   -0.002   -0.33%   +0.13%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral
Editing by Joseph Radford and Subhranshu Sahu)
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