April 20, 2018 / 2:26 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Wheat set for weekly gain of over 3 pct on US weather concerns

    * Wheat up 3.1 pct this week after closing unchanged last
    * Weather forecasts see lower rains in drought-hit U.S.

 (Adds comment, detail)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, April 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat slid on Friday
after a three-session rally, but the market is set for a weekly
gain of more than 3 percent on reduced forecasts for the amount
of rain expected in the drought-hit U.S. Plains.
    Corn edged lower as an outlook for warmer temperatures in
the U.S. Midwest is likely to boost planting activity, while
soybean prices eased for a second day on worries about demand
from top importer China.
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade
 is up 3.1 percent this week after closing largely
unchanged last week.
    Corn is up 1 percent this week, the biggest weekly
gain in three weeks, but prices could face downward pressure in
the weeks ahead if U.S. weather turns favourable for planting.
    Soybeans were down 0.6 percent this week after posting
a 2-percent gain the previous week.
    "Weather forecasters continue to expect a storm system
through the Hard Red Winter (HRW) region starting today and
continuing through to Sunday," said Tobin Gorey, director of
agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    "Some forecasters though are reducing the amount of rain in
the system.  The storms were already only going to deliver
modest rainfall to the driest HRW regions so any reduction is
    Earlier forecasts of substantial rainfall in the U.S. Plains
this weekend had led to sharp losses on Monday. But subsequent
projections have pointed to limited rain next week, which could
keep crops struggling with drought.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday morning said
soybean export sales in the week ended April 12 totalled 2.132
million tonnes, near the high-end of market forecasts for 1.4
million to 2.2 million tonnes.
    However, the agency has not reported any spot sales this
week, highlighting worries about exporters striking fresh deals
with the world's largest buyer of the oilseed amid escalations
of trade threats between the United States and China.
    Several ships carrying cargoes of sorghum from the United
States to China have changed course since Beijing slapped hefty
anti-dumping deposits on U.S. imports of the grain, trade
sources and a Reuters analysis of export and shipping data
    Sorghum is a niche animal feed and a tiny slice of the
billions of dollars in exports at stake in the trade dispute
between the world's two largest economies, which threatens to
disrupt the flow of everything from steel to electronics.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, corn,
soymeal and soyoil contracts on Thursday, traders said. The
funds were net buyers of wheat.
 Grains prices at 0205 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  487.00   -3.75    -0.76%   +4.45%       469.49   50
 CBOT corn   381.25   -0.75    -0.20%   +0.26%       383.85   39
 CBOT soy    1048.25  -0.75    -0.07%   +0.22%       1038.44  44
 CBOT rice   13.07    -$0.02   -0.11%   -0.68%       $12.55   68
 WTI crude   68.38    $0.09    +0.13%   -0.13%       $64.44   72
 Euro/dlr    $1.234   -$0.003  -0.23%   -0.22%                
 USD/AUD     0.7720   -0.006   -0.80%   -0.57%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral
Editing by Joseph Radford)
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