March 21, 2018 / 3:53 AM / 5 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat near 1-month low as rains ease U.S. crop concerns

    * Wheat little changed, near Tuesday's weakest since Feb. 22
    * Corn ticks up after 5-session fall, soybeans up for 2nd

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, March 21 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures were
largely unchanged on Wednesday, hovering near last session's
one-month low as forecasts of more rains in U.S. southern Plains
further eased concerns over drought-damage to the winter crop.
    Corn rose as the market took a breather following five
consecutive sessions of decline while soybeans rose for a second
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade
 was unchanged at $4.53 a bushel by 0327 GMT. On Tuesday,
prices dropped to a low of $4.50 a bushel, the weakest since Feb
    Corn added 0.1 percent to $3.75 a bushel, having lost
4.4 percent in the past five sessions and soybeans rose
0.1 percent to $10.29-1/2 a bushel, having firmed 0.6 percent on
    "We are seeing improved weather in the United States and
Argentina," said one Singapore-based agricultural commodities
    "Soybean crop losses in Argentina have now been priced in
and for wheat, there is no major global supply threat."
    The wheat market is under pressure as rains fell across
parched U.S. fields in the last few days. Some forecast models
called for another round of moisture in the drought-hit southern
Plains, where the hard red winter wheat crop is exiting dormancy
and resuming spring growth.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) late on Monday
rated 11 percent of top winter wheat producer Kansas in
good-to-excellent condition, down from 12 percent a week
earlier. Wheat ratings also declined in Texas.
    The soybean market is focused on trade relations between the
United States and China. 
    U.S. agricultural exports could be at risk in any
retaliation over tariffs implemented by the White House, U.S.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said on Monday.

    Soybeans are the biggest U.S. agricultural export, followed
by corn. China is by far the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans.
    Late season rains will halt further deterioration of
drought-hit Argentine soybean yields, setting the stage for an
estimated crop of at least 40 million tonnes after being
trounced earlier in the season by extremely dry weather, experts
said on Tuesday.
    The 2017/18 crop year started with soy harvest estimates in
the 55 million tonne range. But the drought has parched wide
areas of Argentina's normally fertile Pampas grains belt since
November and scorched some soy and corn fields beyond repair.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn and soyoil
futures on Tuesday, and net buyers of soybeans, wheat and
soymeal, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0327 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  453.00   0.00    +0.00%   +0.50%       478.54   28
 CBOT corn   375.00   0.50    +0.13%   +0.00%       380.10   38
 CBOT soy    1029.50  1.25    +0.12%   +0.68%       1039.92  44
 CBOT rice   12.20    $0.00   -0.04%   -0.69%       $12.36   43
 WTI crude   63.69    $0.15   +0.24%   +2.63%       $61.64   68
 Euro/dlr    $1.226   $0.002  +0.18%   -0.58%                
 USD/AUD     0.7690   0.001   +0.10%   -0.35%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)
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