March 28, 2018 / 2:36 AM / 8 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms after two-day decline, improved U.S. weather weighs

    * Rains in parts of U.S. southern Plains caps gains in wheat
    * Soybeans little changed after falling for three sessions

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, March 28 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures ticked
higher on Wednesday after falling for the past two sessions, as
rains in parts of the U.S. southern Plains improved crop
    Soybeans were little changed while corn ticked higher in
positioning ahead of a U.S. Department of Agriculture planting
intentions report due on Thursday.
    The Chicago Board Of Trade most-active wheat contract
gained 0.3 percent to $4.50-1/4 a bushel by 0203 GMT, having
lost about 2.3 percent in the past two days.
    Soybeans were largely unchanged at $10.19-3/4 a bushel
and corn rose 0.2 percent to $3.74-3/4 a bushel.
    "The U.S. winter wheat crop had a pretty tough winter period
but spring weather has been favourable," said Phin Ziebell, an
agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.
    "A large chunk of the rally that we saw in February has
    Showers crossing the U.S. Plains on Tuesday should help
recharge soil moisture in some areas.
    The USDA on Monday rated 13 percent of winter wheat in
Kansas, the top producer, in good-to-excellent condition, up
from 11 percent last week. However, ratings are down
significantly from a year ago, when 38 percent of the state's
wheat was rated good to excellent.
    The soybean market could face pressure as U.S. farmers are
expected to boost plantings this year. 
    Analysts expect the USDA to project U.S. soybean plantings
for 2018 at a record-high of 91.1 million acres and corn
plantings at 89.4 million acres, down from 90.2 million in 2017.

    Analysts also expect the USDA to report record-high March 1
corn and soybean stocks, reflecting several years of bumper
    There was additional pressure stemming from news that
Agroconsult, a Brazilian consulting firm, raised its estimate of
the country's soybean harvest to 118.9 million tonnes, from
117.5 million previously.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, wheat,
soymeal and corn futures contracts on Tuesday, and net buyers in
soyoil, traders said.

 Grains prices at  0203 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  450.25   1.25    +0.28%   -2.17%       476.48   33
 CBOT corn   374.75   0.75    +0.20%   -0.66%       380.50   37
 CBOT soy    1019.75  0.25    +0.02%   -0.83%       1043.35  37
 CBOT rice   12.45    $0.00   +0.00%   +0.69%       $12.34   65
 WTI crude   64.88    -$0.37  -0.57%   -1.02%       $62.53   63
 Euro/dlr    $1.241   $0.006  +0.51%   +0.93%                
 USD/AUD     0.7695   0.000   -0.01%   +0.05%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)
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