March 29, 2018 / 2:23 AM / 4 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat faces 4th week of decline as U.S. rains boost winter crop outlook

    * Chicago wheat falls nearly 11 percent in 4 weeks of losses
    * Some rains U.S. Plains boost prospects for winter crop
    * Market eyes USDA report for direct in corn, soybean
futures

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, March 29 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures ticked
higher on Thursday after hitting a near two-month low in the
previous session, with the market poised for a consecutive
fourth week of decline as rains in parched U.S. Plains boost
crop prospects.
    Soybeans were little changed, on track for a second week of
declines, while corn ticked higher in Asian trade but was still
set to end down for a third week in a row.
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade
 added 0.3 percent at $4.46-3/4 a bushel by 0155 GMT,
having closed down 0.8 percent on Wednesday when prices hit a
low of $4.44-1/2 a bushel - the weakest since Feb. 6. 
    Soybeans were unchanged at $10.18 a bushel and corn
 rose 0.1 percent to $3.74 a bushel.
    "Investors remain as potential sellers of a long position
but the trading pattern yesterday suggests they were not
active," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at 
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, referring to wheat futures. 
    "The prospect of relieving rain is also probably weighing on
prices." 
    Wheat futures have lost nearly 11 percent in four weeks of
declines, while corn is down more than 4 percent in three
consecutive down-weeks. Soybeans are down a little over 3
percent in two straight weeks of losses.
    Investors in agricultultural markets are readying for the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's plantings and stocks reports.
    Analysts expect the government to project an increase in
U.S. soybean plantings compared to 2017 and a decline in corn
acreage.
    The market also expects the USDA to show the largest U.S.
March 1 stocks on record for both corn and soybeans, following
several years of bumper harvests.
    Brazilian soybean farmers are looking at another strong year
after a drought in Argentina and international trade tensions
involving the United States and China boosted prospects for the
country's oilseeds industry.
    Drought-hit Argentine soy yields are well below historic
averages, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Wednesday,
with 8.8 percent of the harvest completed in the central farm
belt and little hope of a near-term improvement in the weather.
    A recent increase in dryness in northern parts of the Pampas
agricultural area, which had been moist earlier in the season,
did not bode well for harvesting over the weeks ahead, the
exchange said in its weekly crop report.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybeans,
wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday, and net buyers
in soyoil, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0155 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  446.75   1.25    +0.28%   -0.50%       474.75   32
 CBOT corn   374.00   0.50    +0.13%   +0.00%       380.43   40
 CBOT soy    1018.00  0.00    +0.00%   -0.15%       1042.83  38
 CBOT rice   12.43    -$0.02  -0.16%   -0.16%       $12.33   62
 WTI crude   64.61    $0.23   +0.36%   -0.98%       $62.65   58
 Currencies                                                  
 Euro/dlr    $1.232   $0.001  +0.10%   -0.66%                
 USD/AUD     0.7647   -0.001  -0.16%   -0.39%                
 
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
    

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)
  
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