March 9, 2018 / 3:46 AM / 4 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat prices fall 1 pct, set for 1st weekly loss in 8 as US weather improves

    * Wheat set to finish week down 1.4 pct on U.S. rain
    * Chicago Corn futures eye 2nd week of gains on strong

 (Adds comment, detail)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, March 9 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices slid
around 1 percent on Friday and were set for their first weekly
decline in eight weeks, pressured by an improving outlook for
the U.S. winter wheat crop and ample world supplies.
    Corn futures edged lower, retreating from a more than
seven-month high, but the grain was set to finish the week up
nearly 2 percent after a widely watched crop report said end of
season supplies would be lower than expected.
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of
Trade is down 1.2 percent this week, its first fall in almost
two months.
    Corn is up 1.8 percent for the week, extending
two-week gains to more than 7 percent. The market climbed on
Thursday to $3.93-3/4 a bushel, the highest since July.
    Soybeans have lost 1.4 percent this week after gaining
for the past four weeks.
    "There is some improvement in the weather forecast for the
U.S. winter crop," said one India-based commodities analyst.
    "On the supply front, even if we assume the U.S. winter
wheat yield drops by 10 to 15 percent, there is still a lot of
inventory across the world."
    Wheat prices eased as the U.S. Department of Agriculture
said the condition of crops in several key producing regions had
picked up, with brighter weather forecasts also improving the
outlook for crops.
    The agency in a state crop report on Monday rated 13 percent
of the Kansas winter wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition,
up from 12 percent in a monthly report released Feb. 26.
    The USDA rated Oklahoma's wheat as 6 percent
good-to-excellent, up from 4 percent in a Feb. 26 monthly
    U.S. corn supplies will be smaller than expected due to
strong export demand and rising ethanol production, the USDA
said on Thursday.
    The USDA in its monthly supply and demand outlook cut the
forecast for Argentina corn and soy production but increased its
estimate for soy production in Brazil, the top global soy
producer and exporter.
    Weekly data showed U.S. corn exports last week at 1.9
million tonnes and soybean sales of 2.7 million tonnes - both
above the range of analyst expectations. Weekly sales of 428,400
tonnes of U.S. wheat were within the range of estimates.

    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and wheat
futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of soybeans,
soymeal and soyoil futures, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0320 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  493.50   -5.75   -1.15%   -0.75%       476.03   64
 CBOT corn   392.00   -1.50   -0.38%   +1.23%       376.10   77
 CBOT soy    1056.00  -8.00   -0.75%   -0.87%       1030.15  55
 CBOT rice   12.45    $0.02   +0.12%   -0.28%       $12.45   54
 WTI crude   60.15    $0.03   +0.05%   -1.64%       $62.38   32
 Euro/dlr    $1.231   $0.000  -0.02%   -0.85%                
 USD/AUD     0.7778   -0.001  -0.14%   -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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