June 13, 2018 / 1:04 AM / 12 days ago

GRAINS-Wheat prices hit 2-wk high as USDA lowers Russian forecast

    SYDNEY, June 13 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged up to
hit a two-week high on Wednesday as the U.S. Department of
Agriculture lowered its estimate for Russian production
following prolonged dry weather.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of
Trade were up 0.2 percent at $5.35-3/4 a bushel by 0034
GMT. They earlier hit their strongest since May 29 at $5.39 a
bushel, having closed up 3.9 percent on Tuesday. 
    * The most active soybean futures were up 0.1 percent
at $9.55 a bushel, having closed little changed on Tuesday when
prices hit their lowest since Jan 12 at $9.52 a bushel.
    * The most active corn futures were up 0.1 percent at
$3.78 a bushel, after gaining 2.8 percent in the previous
session.
    * The USDA raised its estimate of all U.S. wheat production
for 2018/19 by 6 million bushels to 1.827 billion bushels, but
it cut its Russia wheat harvest estimate to 68.50 million tonnes
from 72.00 million tonnes.
    * Australia on Wednesday cut its forecast wheat production
by nearly 8 percent for 2018/19 as prolonged dry weather across
the country's east coast crimps national output.
    * The agency also lowered its forecasts for U.S. corn and
soy ending stocks for the 2018/19 crop year that begins on Sept.
1.
    * The USDA late on Monday reduced good-to-excellent crop
condition ratings for the corn and soy crops by 1 percentage
point, but the ratings are still some of the best in years,
while weekend rainfall in the Midwest also benefited crops.
         
    MARKET NEWS  
    * The dollar rallied against a basket of currencies on
Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's Federal Reserve policy decision,
while the British pound whipsawed after Prime Minister Theresa
May defeated a rebellion in parliament over Brexit plans.
 
    * Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, with U.S. crude settling
higher before falling in post-settlement trading, and Brent
slipping as investors prepared for a key meeting of the OPEC
producer group next week.  
    * U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Tuesday, boosted by
gains in technology and utilities shares, though investors were
cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy decision.  
            
 Grains prices at  0034 GMT
 Contract       Last  Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg    MA 30  RSI
 CBOT wheat   535.75    1.25    +0.23%       +4.13%   517.83   58
 CBOT corn    378.00    0.50    +0.13%       +2.93%   394.83   40
 CBOT soy     955.25    1.25    +0.13%       +0.16%  1010.13   16
 CBOT rice     11.92  -$0.01    -0.04%       +2.41%   $12.07   60
 WTI crude     65.94  -$0.42    -0.63%       -0.24%   $68.78   42
 Currencies                                                      
 Euro/dlr     $1.175  $0.001    +0.04%       -0.29%              
 USD/AUD      0.7572   0.000    +0.01%       -0.49%              
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 
 (Reporting by Colin Packham
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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