March 13, 2018 / 1:29 AM / 2 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms as USDA confirms damage to crops

    SYDNEY, March 13 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose on
Tuesday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture said production in
a key growing region was damaged last week by continued adverse
weather.
         
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of
Trade  were up 0.2 percent at $4.91-1/4 a bushel by 0055
GMT, having closed up 0.3 percent on Monday. 
    * The most active soybean futures were up 0.3 percent
to $10.43-3/4 a bushel after earlier hitting a low of $10.32 a
bushel - the lowest since Feb. 21. Soybeans firmed 0.2 percent
on Monday.
    * The most active corn futures were down 0.1 percent
at $3.90-1/2 a bushel.
    * The U.S. Department of Agriculture after the close of
trading on Monday rated 12 percent of the Kansas winter wheat
crop in good to excellent condition, down from 13 percent a week
earlier. The USDA rated 53 percent of the Kansas crop as poor to
very poor, up from 50 percent the previous week.
    * The USDA earlier on Monday said 389,358 tonnes of U.S.
wheat were exported last week, within the range of expectations.
Exports of 910,237 tonnes of soybeans were also within
expectations, while corn exports of 1.4 million tonnes topped
estimates.
    * Drought was reducing yield potential for soy and corn in
Argentina and for wheat in the southern U.S. Plains. 
    * Some scorched soy fields in Argentina would be little
helped by rainfall that could arrive this weekend.
         
    MARKET NEWS  
    * The dollar fell on Monday, pressured by data showing
persistently low wages that will likely constrain the U.S.
Federal Reserve from raising interest rates more than three
times this year.  
    * Oil prices fell on Monday as investors grappled with
ongoing concerns over rising U.S. output and tight OPEC supply,
while last week's data showing speculators cut bets on oil
suggested more selling could be seen.  
    * The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped
on Monday as the U.S. tariffs signed into law last week by
President Donald Trump weighed on industrials, though gains in
tech stocks boosted the Nasdaq.  
    
    ATA AHEAD (GMT)
1000  U.S.            NFIB business optimism index       Feb
1230  U.S.            Consumer prices                    Feb
1500  U.S.            Cleveland Fed CPI                  Feb
        
 Grains prices at  0055 GMT
 Contract       Last  Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg    MA 30  RSI 
 CBOT wheat   491.75    1.00   +0.20%       +0.51%   478.08    57
 CBOT corn    390.50   -0.25   -0.06%       +0.00%   377.75    69
 CBOT soy    1043.75    2.75   +0.26%       +0.43%  1032.43    41
 CBOT rice     12.31   $0.00   +0.00%       -1.01%   $12.44    42
 WTI crude     61.19  -$0.17   -0.28%       -1.37%   $62.13    44
 Currencies                                                      
 Euro/dlr     $1.234  $0.001   +0.06%       +0.28%               
 USD/AUD      0.7876   0.000   +0.05%       +0.34%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 
 (Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)
  
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