October 26, 2018 / 1:51 AM / 8 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms but set for biggest weekly drop since early Sept

SINGAPORE, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat rose about 1 percent on Friday, but the grain was poised for its biggest weekly fall since early September as stiff competition from the Black Sea region and higher output in China weighed on the market.

Soybeans were headed a third straight weekly loss, while corn was down for a second week on U.S. harvest pressure and disappointing exports.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract has lost 4.4 percent so far this week, the biggest decline since the week ended Sept. 7.

* Expectations of higher wheat exports from Russia, the world’s biggest supplier, are adding pressure on U.S. wheat prices.

* An improved crop outlook in China led the International Grains Council on Thursday to raise its forecast for world wheat production in the 2018/19 season.

* The IGC put global wheat production at 728.8 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 716.7 million tonnes, although still well below the prior season’s 767.1 million tonnes.

* A stronger dollar, which makes the greenback-priced commodities expensive for buyers holding other currencies, weighed on wheat futures.

* Still, some Asian flour mills are looking to lock in wheat supplies until well into the middle of 2019, potentially shaking off a years-long trend for hand-to-mouth buying as global output is set to drop for the first time in six years.

* Pressure from harvest of bumper soybean and corn crops in the United States kept a lid on prices.

* Soybeans have declined 1.5 percent this week, while corn has lost 1.2 percent.

* On Thursday, CBOT soybean futures sank after the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly report showed 212,700 tonnes of export sales, well below trade expectations for a third week in a row.

* Weekly U.S. corn export sales were similarly disappointing at 377,500 tonnes (old and new crop years combined).

* Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said. Estimates of net fund selling in corn ranged from 17,000 to 35,000 contracts.

MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares wobbled in early Friday trade, struggling to shake off the previous day’s global markets rout, after weak results from tech giants Alphabet Inc and Amazon.com heightened concerns over world trade and economic growth.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 0600 Germany GfK consumer sentiment Nov 0645 France Consumer confidence Oct 0645 France Producer prices Sep 1230 U.S. Advance GDP Q3 1400 European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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