January 5, 2018 / 3:45 AM / 13 days ago

GRAINS-Wheat set for 3rd week of gains on vulnerable U.S., Russian crops

    * Wheat up 1.4 pct this week, rises for 3rd consecutive week
    * U.S. crop may face damage as frigid weather threatens crop
    * Russian weather not yet harsh but crop exposed to lack of
snow

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures eased on
Friday, taking a breather following strong gains earlier this
week, but were still set for a third positive week with cold
weather threatening the U.S. crop.
    Soybeans bounced back, rising for four out of five sessions
with investors focused on dry weather in Argentina, the world's
third largest supplier, although improved forecasts have eased
some of those concerns.
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade
 is up 1.4 percent this week, taking the gains in the past
three weeks to 3.5 percent.
    Soybeans are up nearly 1 percent for the week, the
second straight weekly rally and corn is set to end the
week little changed.
    Wheat is drawing support from fears that frigid temperatures
across a key growing U.S. region threaten production.

    Russian wheat is also exposed with lack of snow even though
the weather is not crop-threatening.
    "Funds short on wheat and buyers do not have much coverage,"
said Ole Houe, an analyst with brokerage IKON Commodities in
Sydney. 
    "We have crop-threatening weather in the United States and
even the Russian crop is vulnerable to damage because there is
not much snow cover."
    Soybeans are being underpinned by dry weather in Argentina
although an improved outlook is keeping a lid on prices.
    Drought in Argentina's bread basket province of Buenos Aires
has raised the risk that some of the 18.1 million hectares
expected to be sown with soy this season will go unplanted, the
Buenos Aires Grains Exchange and other analysts warned.
    With the planting season set to end over the weeks ahead,
the exchange said 2.25 million hectares have yet to be sown.

    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean and
wheat contracts on Thursday. They were net buyers of soymeal and
even in soyoil, traders said.
    
 Grains prices at  0315 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  433.00  -1.00   -0.23%   -0.12%       427.27  66
 CBOT corn   351.00  0.00    +0.00%   -0.64%       352.15  56
 CBOT soy    971.50  3.75    +0.39%   +0.70%       987.10  51
 CBOT rice   11.72   $0.01   +0.09%   -0.47%       $12.25  30
 WTI crude   61.93   -$0.08  -0.13%   +0.49%       $58.42  81
 Currencies                                                
 Euro/dlr    $1.207  $0.000  +0.04%   +0.50%               
 USD/AUD     0.7851  -0.001  -0.15%   +0.20%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
    

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)
  
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