May 18, 2018 / 3:47 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Wheat set for weekly gain as drought hits Australian, U.S. crops

    * Wheat up for 4th day, eyes weekly gain after last week's
    * Soybeans, corn firm after two days of losses 
    * China halts anti-dumping probe into U.S. sorghum imports

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, May 18 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat rose for a
fourth consecutive session on Friday with the market poised to
end the week on a positive note following last week's deep
losses as dry weather curbs yields in key exporters Australia
and the United States.
    U.S. soybeans and corn rose almost 1 percent as China's move
to halt anti-dumping probe against U.S. sorghum imports boosted
hopes of improved demand for U.S. crops.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract 
   is up almost 1 percent this week, after closing down 5.2
percent last week.
    Soybeans were set to close the week little changed as
Friday's near 1 percent gain reduces losses made in the past few
days. Corn is up about half a percent for the week, after
finishing the previous week down 2.4 percent.
    "U.S. conditions are not good for wheat. Australian wheat
crop had bit of rain but not much, large areas are still pretty
dry," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National
Australia Bank.
    "China's latest move on U.S. sorghum imports suggest thawing
of relations, it is bit supporting for the market. It is an
encouraging action."
    Dry growing season is expected reduce yields of U.S. Hard
Red Winter wheat crop in the U.S. southern Plains while
Australian farmers are planting wheat in dry soils following
last year's drought.
    This is expected to reduce global inventories although there
are plenty of supplies from the old crop and expectations of
bumper production from the Black Sea region.
    China's Commerce Ministry said on Friday it was halting its
anti-dumping investigation into imports of sorghum from the
United States, saying measures it imposed would affect consumers
and were not in line with the public interest.
    The move comes as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is in
Washington for talks aimed at resolving trade tensions between
the world's two largest economies.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday said that
soybean export sales totalled 506,600 tonnes in the latest week,
near the low-end of forecasts that ranged from 400,000 tonnes to
1 million tonnes.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, corn and
soymeal futures contracts on Thursday, traders said. They were
net buyers of wheat and soyoil futures.
 Grains prices at  0320 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  503.50   6.00    +1.21%   +1.87%       500.18   50
 CBOT corn   398.75   3.50    +0.89%   -0.13%       397.65   56
 CBOT soy    1004.75  9.75    +0.98%   +0.50%       1037.15  43
 CBOT rice   12.52    $0.02   +0.16%   -0.24%       $12.97   48
 WTI crude   71.60    $0.11   +0.15%   +0.15%       $68.68   69
 Euro/dlr    $1.180   $0.001  +0.05%   -0.07%                
 USD/AUD     0.7509   0.000   +0.00%   -0.07%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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