February 27, 2018 / 3:41 AM / 25 days ago

GRAINS-Wheat up for 4th session as US crop condition deteriorates

    * Wheat near highest in 7 months on U.S. weather woes
    * U.S. winter crop ratings decline as dry weather hurts

 (Adds comment, detail)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices rose for
a fourth consecutive session on Tuesday, trading near a
seven-month high as the condition of the U.S. winter crop
declines following dry weather, threatening to curb yields.
    Soybeans were little changed after closing marginally lower
on Monday, with concerns over lack of rains in Argentina
underpinning prices.
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade
 had climbed 0.4 percent to $4.74-3/4 a bushel by 0301 GMT.
The market earlier in the day climbed to $4.76-3/4 a bushel,
matching Monday's peak which was the highest since Aug. 1. 
   Soybeans were unchanged at $10.46 a bushel, having
closed down 0.1 percent on Monday. Corn was also flat at
$3.68-1/2 a bushel, after gaining 0.6 percent in the previous
    "Dry weather in the U.S. is a cause for concern," said an
India-based agricultural commodities analyst.
    "Crop ratings for the winter wheat crop are significantly
lower and weather forecasts for the next 15 days are not
    Condition ratings for winter wheat declined in February
across most U.S. Plains states, including top producer Kansas,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday, underscoring
the effect of drought in the region.
    The government rated 12 percent of the Kansas winter wheat
crop in good-to-excellent condition, down from 14 percent at the
end of January and below last year's 43 percent.
    The USDA rated 4 percent of the Oklahoma wheat crop as
good-to-excellent, unchanged from the end of January but down
from 43 percent a year earlier.
    In addition, severe cold in Europe fuelled further weather
concerns for wheat supplies.
    The soybean market is being supported by dry weather in
Argentina, which is expected to take a toll on supplies in the
world's third largest exporter of the oilseed.
    Parched Argentine fields are expected to receive about 15
millimetres of rain in the coming days, short of the 100
millimetres needed to reverse some of the damage to crops, said
Meteorologist Germán Heinzenknecht of the Applied Climatology
    Brazilian soybean farmers, however, are expected to harvest
a record 117.5 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2017/18 crop
cycle, a top executive at Brazil-based consultancy Agroconsult
said on Friday.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat, soymeal
and soyoil futures contracts on Monday, traders said.

 Grains prices at  0301 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  474.75   2.00    +0.42%   +5.21%       444.84   63
 CBOT corn   368.50   0.00    +0.00%   +0.48%       360.41   64
 CBOT soy    1046.00  0.00    +0.00%   +0.26%       1007.56  75
 CBOT rice   12.12    $0.02   +0.17%   +0.79%       $12.23   33
 WTI crude   63.88    -$0.03  -0.05%   +0.52%       $63.19   69
 Euro/dlr    $1.234   $0.004  +0.34%   +0.05%                
 USD/AUD     0.7852   0.001   +0.13%   +0.09%                
 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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