May 4, 2018 / 3:19 AM / in a year

GRAINS-Wheat set for biggest weekly gain in 2 months on f'cast of lower U.S. crop

    * Wheat has risen 7.7 pct this week, corn set for 2nd weekly
    * Expectations of lower U.S. winter crop output underpin
    * Corn supported by slow pace of U.S. planting due to wet

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, May 4 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat ticked lower on
Friday, but the market was set for its biggest weekly gain in
two months as a crop tour finds lower yields in parts of U.S.
southern Plains which have been hit by dry weather.
    Corn was poised for a second weekly gain on support from
rains delaying planting in the U.S. Midwest.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract
has gained 7.7 percent this week and was on track for its
biggest weekly gain since early March.
    Wheat on Thursday climbed to its highest since July at $5.39
a bushel.
    Corn has jumped more than 2 percent this week, adding
to last week's near 6 percent gain, and soybeans were down
around 0.5 percent after posting gains of 1.5 percent in the
previous week.
    "The market is still processing the poor reports coming in
from crop scouts in U.S. Hard Red Winter (HRW) wheat regions,"
said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at
Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    "And the markets, ourselves included, are now more confident
in forecasts that U.S. HRW production will be modest this year."
    Scouts on a Wheat Quality Council crop tour projected the
winter wheat yield in Kansas, the top U.S. wheat state, at 37.0
bushels per acre. 
    The scouts pegged Kansas wheat production at 243.3 million
bushels, potentially the smallest crop since 1989, reflecting
the impact of drought.
    Corn prices are being supported by planting delays in parts
of the U.S. Midwest following excessive rains.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 17 percent of the
U.S. corn crop had been planted by Sunday, behind the five-year
average of 27 percent.
    In the soybean market, investors are watching for any signs
of positive progress at a meeting between U.S and Chinese trade
    A breakthrough deal to fundamentally change China's economic
policies is viewed as highly unlikely during the two days of
talks, though a package of short-term Chinese measures could
delay Washington's decision to impose tariffs on about $50
billion worth of Chinese exports.
    Heavy rains over recent days in Argentina slowed soybean
harvesting in central and southern parts of the Pampas grains
belt, while dryness in northern areas allowed rapid harvesting,
the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean
and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of
soymeal futures, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0251 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  536.75   -1.25   -0.23%   +1.90%       489.69   81
 CBOT corn   408.00   0.00    +0.00%   +0.74%       394.93   79
 CBOT soy    1050.25  -3.00   -0.28%   +0.70%       1047.49  53
 CBOT rice   13.01    -$0.01  -0.08%   -0.19%       $12.99   42
 WTI crude   68.41    -$0.02  -0.03%   +0.71%       $66.36   58
 Euro/dlr    $1.199   $0.000  +0.01%   +0.32%                
 USD/AUD     0.7547   0.002   +0.24%   +0.71%                
 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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