March 2, 2018 / 2:02 AM / 21 days ago

GRAINS-Wheat set for biggest weekly gain in 8 months on U.S. dryness

    SINGAPORE, March 2 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures were on
track on Friday for their biggest weekly gain since late June as
forecasts of more dryness across the U.S. Plains supported the
    Soybeans are poised for a fourth consecutive week of gains
as a severe drought in Argentina threatens to reduce global
surplus, while corn is on track for its biggest rally since
early July.
    * Chicago wheat futures have rallied for the last six
sessions with dry weather expected to curb U.S. winter crop
    * Agricultural meteorologists are forecasting below normal
moisture levels over the next few weeks which are expected
further damage the crop.
    * The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat
contract has jumped about 11 percent this week, the market's
seventh straight week of gains. Soybeans are up 2.8
percent this week while corn has gained 5.7 percent. 
    * Dry weather in Argentina, the world's biggest soyoil and
soymeal supplier, is supporting prices.
    * Crop conditions for drought-battered corn and soybeans in
Argentina fell further this week, and ratings among the top
three provinces are now on average about 23 percentage points
lower than a month ago.
    * The poor conditions prompted the Buenos Aires Grain
Exchange to slash the country's soybean crop on Thursday to 44
million tonnes from its previous estimate of 47 million. It
maintained corn at 37 million tonnes.
    * About 57.5 million tonnes of soybeans were harvested a
year ago, along with roughly 40 million tonnes of corn.
    * Argentina's lower production is expected generate more
demand for U.S. soybeans and corn.
    * The U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday morning
reported weekly soybean export sales of 979,900 tonnes, which
topped forecasts for 400,000 tonnes to 800,000 tonnes.

    * The agency also announced snap soybean sales on Thursday
that totalled 246,000 tonnes, including 120,000 tonnes for
delivery to China during the current marketing year.
    * The USDA's weekly report showed corn export sales of 1.753
million tonnes, up from 1.621 million a week ago. Analysts
forecasts ranged from 1 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes.
    * Stock markets in Asia extended a selloff on Wall Street as
investors were rattled after President Donald Trump announced
the United States would impose hefty tariffs on steel and
aluminium imports, raising the spectre of a global trade war.

0700  Germany          Import prices       Jan
0700  Germany          Retail sales        Jan
1000  Euro zone        Producer prices     Jan
1345  U.S.             ISM-New York index  Feb

 Grains prices at  0130 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  514.00   -1.50    -0.29%   +7.76%       463.84   85
 CBOT corn   387.00   0.75     +0.19%   +4.45%       363.23   88
 CBOT soy    1076.25  8.25     +0.77%   +2.55%       1015.90  88
 CBOT rice   12.44    -$0.06   -0.48%   +2.30%       $12.44   68
 WTI crude   61.19    $0.20    +0.33%   -0.73%       $62.90   43
 Euro/dlr    $1.227   -$0.002  -0.20%   -0.49%                
 USD/AUD     0.7764   -0.008   -0.99%   -1.03%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)
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