February 21, 2018 / 3:27 AM / 25 days ago

GRAINS-Wheat hits 2-week low, soybeans ease from 7-month peak

    * Chicago wheat falls for 3rd day, hits lowest since Feb. 6
    * Ample wheat supplies weigh, market looks to Egypt tender
    * Soybeans dip from 7-mth high, Argentina drought limits

 (Adds comment, detail)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices slid for
a third session on Wednesday to mark a two-week low, pressured
by plentiful world supplies and crop-friendly weather in some
key exporting countries.
    Soybean prices inched down, but stayed close to their
highest in nearly seven months on concerns that dry weather in
Argentina could cause production losses.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract
had fallen 0.6 percent to $4.46-1/2 a bushel by 0252 GMT, its
weakest since Feb. 6.
    Soybeans were down 0.5 percent at $10.21-1/2 a bushel
after climbing to their highest in nearly seven months at $10.39
a bushel on Tuesday. Corn slid 0.1 percent to $3.65 a
bushel, having closed down 0.5 percent in the previous session.
    "Wheat could not hold on to those earlier gains," said Phin
Ziebell, an agribusiness economist for National Australia Bank,
referring to last week's rally which lifted prices to their
highest since August.
    "We continue to face heavy supplies. We had some dry weather
issues in the United States, but elsewhere in the Black Sea
region there is minimal supply concern."
    The market is looking to the outcome of a tender issued by
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities to buy an
unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment
from March 22-April 1.
    Wheat suppliers from the Black Sea region and Europe have
bagged most of the tenders issued by Egypt, the No. 1 importer, 
with U.S. exporters struggling to win business.
    Ukraine's winter grain crops were in a good or satisfactory
condition as of Feb. 19, thanks to favourable weather,
agriculture minister Maksim Martyniuk said on Monday.

    For soybeans, sizzling conditions in Argentina since
November have prompted traders and analysts to slash harvest
estimates, fuelling projections that export business could shift
to the United States from South America.
    Argentine farm consultancy Agripac cut its forecast for
soybean production by about 18 percent from the start of the
season to 47 million tonnes and its corn crop estimate by 12
percent to 37 million tonnes.
    Still, Brazil is on track for a record crop. 
    The country's 2017/18 soybean crop is expected to reach
115.6 million tonnes, 1.2 percent above last year's all-time
high crop of 114.2 million tonnes, according to an updated
forecast on Monday from consultancy Safras & Mercado.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, soyoil and
soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday and net sellers of wheat
futures, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0252 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  446.50   -2.75   -0.61%   -2.46%       442.20  42
 CBOT corn   365.00   -0.50   -0.14%   -0.68%       358.56  54
 CBOT soy    1021.50  -5.00   -0.49%   +0.00%       988.08  68
 CBOT rice   11.86    $0.00   +0.00%   -1.33%       $12.21  26
 WTI crude   61.33    -$0.46  -0.74%   -0.57%       $63.20  45
 Euro/dlr    $1.234   $0.000  +0.01%   -0.56%               
 USD/AUD     0.7865   -0.002  -0.20%   -0.58%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral
Editing by Joseph Radford)
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