October 12, 2017 / 3:28 AM / 9 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat prices tick up after losses, corn near 1-mth low

    * Wheat prices edge higher on bargain-buying
    * Market expects USDA to raise U.S. corn yield estimate
    * For soybeans, dryness in Brazil a focus

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Oct 12 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat edged up on
Thursday, rising for the first time in four sessions as
investors looked for bargains, although ample world supplies and
stiff competition from Black Sea producers limited gains. 
    U.S. wheat is finding it hard to win business against low
offers being made by Russian and Ukrainian suppliers. Egypt's
state buyer this week bought 170,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in
a purchasing tender where no U.S. wheat was offered. 
    Still, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed
that private exporters sold 104,202 tonnes of U.S. hard red
winter wheat and 150,000 tonnes of corn to Mexico. More such
sales of U.S. wheat and corn could support grain markets. 
    Corn, though, was little changed, trading near last
session's one-month low ahead of a key U.S. government report
expected to indicate higher crop yields in the United States. 
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract
rose a quarter of a cent to $3.46-1/4 a bushel by 0257 GMT, not
far from its lowest since Sept. 12 at $3.45-1/2 a bushel,
touched on Wednesday. 
     Wheat added 0.4 percent to $4.35 a bushel, having
fallen for the past three sessions. 
    The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly World
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and Crop
Production reports at 1600 GMT. Traders expect the agency to
raise its estimate of the U.S. corn harvest in the reports. 
    Recent rains, however, have slowed the U.S. Midwest harvest.
The USDA in a weekly crop progress report said the corn harvest
was 22 percent complete, lagging the five-year average of 37
percent. The soybean harvest was 36 percent complete, behind the
five-year average of 43 percent. 
    The soybean market is being underpinned by dry weather in
Brazil that could reduce output in the world's biggest exporter.
    "The USDA's WASDE report tonight will be influential," said
Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth
Bank of Australia. 
    "However, given there is a nascent weather issue in Brazil,
the market is unlikely to set off on a bearish tangent unless
the report comes out with some very big U.S. soybean numbers."
    Soybeans were up 0.4 percent to $9.69-1/2 a bushel. 
    Declining precipitation in Argentina due to a transition
toward the La Nina climate phenomenon is expected to relieve
flooded crop fields in the coming months, but drier conditions
could also harm soybean and corn yields, meteorologists told
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat,
soymeal and soybean futures contracts on Wednesday and small net
buyers of soyoil, traders said. 
 Grains prices at  0257 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  435.00  1.75    +0.40%   -0.06%       443.94  39
 CBOT corn   346.25  0.25    +0.07%   -0.86%       352.50  36
 CBOT soy    969.50  4.25    +0.44%   +0.36%       964.86  56
 CBOT rice   12.04   $0.00   +0.00%   +0.12%       $12.40  47
 WTI crude   51.01   -$0.29  -0.57%   +0.18%       $49.95  56
 Euro/dlr    $1.187  $0.002  +0.14%   +0.58%               
 USD/AUD     0.7810  0.002   +0.30%   +0.44%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom
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