May 25, 2018 / 4:48 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms, set to finish week up 2.5 pct on dry weather fears

    * Wheat holds near 10-month high
    * Dry weather threatens U.S. production - analysts
    * Corn edges higher, soybeans firm 

    By Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, May 25 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged higher
on Friday, putting the grain on track for a 2.5 percent weekly
gain as concerns about dry weather in key global producing
regions kept prices near a 10-month high.
    Corn rose, heading for a second straight weekly gain, while
soybeans also firmed, with the oilseed poised to record its
biggest weekly gain since February.
    The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade
 were up 0.2 percent at $5.31-1/4 a bushel at 0430 GMT,
having closed down 0.1 percent on Thursday when prices hit
$5.45-1/4, the highest since July 2017.
    Wheat is up more than 2.5 percent for the week, extending
two-week gains to 6.5 percent.
    Analysts said prices were supported by fears that U.S. crops
will suffer from continued dry weather, coming as other major
exporters also experience troubles.
    "There is potential for serious problems if U.S. crops do
not get a break in the weather," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness
economist, National Australia Bank.
    Forecasts for hot, dry conditions in the U.S. Plains wheat
belt has fuelled concerns about drought-reduced crops in key
production areas.
    Dry weather in parts of Canada, Australia and Russia - all
major wheat exporters - have also fuelled expectations of a
tightening supply balance after record inventories had been
forecast for this season.
    The most active corn futures were up 0.2 percent at
$4.05 a bushel after closing down 1 percent on Thursday.
    Corn is up more 0.5 percent for the week, on track for a
second straight weekly gain.
    The most active soybean futures were up 0.1 percent to
$4.37-1/4 a bushel after closing down 0.3 percent in the
previous session.
    Soybeans are up nearly 4 percent for the week, on course to
post the biggest weekly gain since Feb 16.
    A Chinese importer on Tuesday purchased one cargo of U.S.
soybeans for August shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest,
according to traders, marking the first sale of U.S. soybeans to
China since the two countries stepped back from a full-blown
trade war.
 Grains prices at  0412 GMT
 Contract       Last   Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg    MA 30  RSI
 CBOT wheat   531.25     1.00   +0.19%       +0.05%   504.93   68
 CBOT corn    405.00     0.75   +0.19%       -0.86%   399.01   63
 CBOT soy    1037.25     1.50   +0.14%       -0.19%  1031.97   64
 CBOT rice     11.61    $0.05   +0.43%       -2.60%   $12.77   21
 WTI crude     70.65   -$0.06   -0.08%       -1.66%   $69.59   46
 Euro/dlr     $1.170  -$0.001   -0.13%       +0.07%              
 USD/AUD      0.7561   -0.001   -0.17%       +0.03%              
 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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