August 24, 2018 / 1:47 AM / 3 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat headed for worst week in 2 years on slow U.S. exports

MANILA, Aug 24 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures dropped for a fifth session in a row on Friday and were on track for their largest weekly fall in two years after U.S. export sales data fell below trade expectations.

Corn was headed for its biggest weekly drop in more than a year as results from an ongoing Midwest crop tour fuelled expectations of big U.S. harvests.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chicago Board of Trade wheat for December delivery was down 0.7 percent at $5.38-1/4 a bushel by 0131 GMT, on track for a weekly loss of about 7 percent, the biggest since August 2016.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported export sales of U.S. wheat in the week to Aug. 16 at 239,800 tonnes, a six-week low, and also below a range of trade expectations for 450,000 to 850,000 tonnes.

* Chicago December corn was flat at $3.61 a bushel, but the contract has fallen nearly 5 percent this week, on track for its steepest decline since June 2017.

* The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour on Thursday projected corn yields in the top growing U.S. state Iowa to rise to 188.2 bushels per acre, up from the tour average last year of 179.8 bpa and the three-year average of 182.7 bpa.

The annual crop Tour so far has projected above-average corn yields for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska and South Dakota.

* The crop tour, which does not estimate soybean yields, projected the number of soy pods in a 3-by-3-foot square in Iowa at 1,209.0, up from 1,092.9 pods a year ago and the three-year average of 1,178.8 pods. Iowa is the second largest soybean growing U.S. state. Pro Farmer will release U.S. corn and soybean production estimates on Friday, drawing from tour data.

* Chicago soybeans rose 0.2 percent to $8.55-1/4 per bushel on Friday, but down 4.2 percent for the week so far.

* The International Grains Council raised its forecast for world corn production in the 2018/19 season by 12 million tonnes to 1.064 billion tonnes, largely driven by an improved crop outlook in the United States.

* U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said details of a planned $12 billion aid package for U.S. farmers hurt by the Trump administration’s trade wars will be disclosed on Monday. Perdue earlier said the plan would include between $7 billion and $8 billion in direct cash relief for farmers.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks edged down, tracking Wall Street losses, but the dollar was buoyant after ending a long losing run ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0600 Germany Detailed GDP Q2

1230 U.S. Durable goods Jul

1400 Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks

at Jackson Hole, Wyoming symposium (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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