October 20, 2017 / 3:52 AM / 10 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat set for 4th straight weekly decline on abundant world supplies

    * Wheat down 1.6 pct this week, biggest fall since late
    * Chicago soybeans set for 1st weekly decline in three

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat edged higher on
Friday, drawing support from strong demand, but was poised for
its biggest weekly drop in almost two months as ample global
supplies weigh on the market.
    Soybeans were set to post their first weekly decline in
three, with delays in Brazilian planting keeping a floor under
the market.
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of
Trade has shed 1.6 percent so far this week, the biggest since
the week ended Aug. 25.
    Soybeans have lost 1.3 percent this week after rising
for the last two weeks and corn is down 1.3 percent after
posting gains of 0.8 percent in the previous week.
    The wheat market has found some support from an uptick in
demand for U.S. wheat.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said U.S. wheat
export sales touched more than 615,000 tonnes, the biggest
weekly tally in two months.
    But globally there are ample supplies. The USDA in its
monthly supply-demand report last week raised world inventories
estimate at the end of 2017/18 marketing year to an all-time
high of 268.13 million tonnes with record production in Russia.
    Russia's SovEcon agriculture consultancy said on Thursday it
had upgraded its forecast for Russia's 2017/18 grain exports by
500,000 tonnes, to 44.5 million tonnes, due to a fast pace for
supplies earlier in the season, which started on July 1.
    The USDA said private exporters sold 384,000 tonnes of U.S.
soybeans to China, the world's biggest soy buyer.
    Weekly U.S. soybean export sales, at 1.275 million tonnes,
fell below trade estimates. But weekly soymeal and soyoil sales
exceeded expectations.
    "Demand has been strong for soybeans and some strength has
also been from the supply-side story due to dryness in Brazil
resulting in planting delays," said Phin Ziebell, an
agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.
    "But U.S. yields are still looking good and we don't see a
big rally at this stage unless fundamentals change."
    For 2018, private analytics firm Informa Economics lowered
its forecast of U.S. corn plantings to 90.460 million acres,
from 91.880 million acres, according to an Informa client note
dated Thursday and obtained by Reuters.
    The firm raised its U.S. 2018 soybean plantings forecast to
90.347 million acres, up from its month-ago projection of 89.057
million acres.
    In Argentina, farmers are expected to expand corn planting
by 5.2 percent this season, the government said on Thursday, as
the free-market policies of President Mauricio Macri encourage
crop rotation after decades of over-planting soybeans.

 Grains prices at  0323 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  433.00  0.25     +0.06%   +0.70%       442.78  46
 CBOT corn   348.25  -0.75    -0.21%   -0.07%       351.08  46
 CBOT soy    987.25  0.75     +0.08%   +0.30%       971.24  63
 CBOT rice   11.97   $0.04    +0.34%   +0.21%       $12.26  41
 WTI crude   51.40   $0.11    +0.21%   -1.23%       $50.64  56
 Euro/dlr    $1.181  -$0.004  -0.32%   +0.21%               
 USD/AUD     0.7843  -0.004   -0.46%   -0.01%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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