April 3, 2018 / 3:18 AM / 4 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms as USDA reports crop damage after recent dry weather

    * USDA says 32 pct of wheat crop in good to excellent
    * U.S.-China trade war fears keep investors on edge

    By Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, April 3 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged higher
on Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the
condition of the winter crop was lagging well behind previous
years after recent dry weather.
    Soybeans rebounded after sliding nearly 1 percent in the
previous session, with corn also advancing.
    But fears of a U.S. trade war with China, a top buyer of
agricultural products, kept investors on edge after Beijing
announced higher tariffs on a long list of U.S. goods, including
pork and ethanol.
    The most-active wheat for May delivery on the Chicago Board
Of Trade was up 0.7 percent at $4.49-1/4 a bushel by 0249
GMT, having closed down 1 percent on Monday.
    The USDA said 32 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop was
in good to excellent condition, compared with 51 percent this
time last year.
    "The market remains more than a little worried about the
U.S. hard red winter (HRW) crop," said Tobin Gorey, director of
agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in
a note.
    "The USDA's crop confirmed that a large chunk of the HRW
crop is in poor condition." 
    Chicago May soybean futures rose 0.8 percent to
$10.43-1/2 a bushel. The contract ended down 0.9 percent on
Monday after hitting a high of $10.60-1/2, its loftiest since
March 9.
    Corn gained 0.2 percent to $3.88 a bushel.
    The USDA last week forecast U.S. plantings of both corn and
soybeans below trade expectations. The agency also estimated
quarterly U.S. stocks of both commodities at historic highs,
which the market largely shrugged off.
 Grains prices at  0249 GMT
 Contract       Last   Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg    MA 30  RSI
 CBOT wheat   449.25     3.00   +0.67%       -0.39%   473.21   42
 CBOT corn    388.00     0.75   +0.19%       +0.06%   381.72   72
 CBOT soy    1043.50     8.00   +0.77%       -0.12%  1044.08   59
 CBOT rice     12.31    $0.00   +0.00%       -1.08%   $12.34   50
 WTI crude     63.16    $0.15   +0.24%       -2.74%   $62.76   46
 Euro/dlr     $1.231   $0.001   +0.04%       -0.13%              
 USD/AUD      0.7675    0.001   +0.17%       -0.04%              
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Colin Packham
Editing by Manolo Serapio Jr.)
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