February 28, 2018 / 4:28 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Wheat up for 5th session on US crop woes, set for 2nd month of gains

    * Wheat prices hover near last session's 7-month peak
    * Poor U.S. winter wheat crop conditions buoy prices
    * Soybeans up for 2nd session, corn ticks up

 (Adds comment, detail)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures rose for
a fifth session on Wednesday, poised for a second month of gains
as dry conditions in U.S. winter crop areas buoy the market. 
    Soybean prices climbed for a second session as a severe
drought in Argentina curbs yield prospects, while corn ticked
higher again after a rally on Tuesday.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract
had gained 0.3 percent to $4.78-1/4 a bushel by 0353 GMT. The
market earlier in the session climbed to $4.79 a bushel,
matching Tuesday's peak price which was the highest since July
31, 2017.
    Soybeans advanced 0.4 percent to $10.54 a bushel and
corn added 0.1 percent to $3.71 a bushel.
    All three markets are on track for a second straight month
of gains.
    "The U.S. Hard Red Winter Wheat region has large areas that
have been too dry for a long while," said Tobin Gorey, director
of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    "Weather forecasters reckon the dry parts of the region are
unlikely to get much rain for another fortnight. The clock is
ticking louder and louder in the market's mind."
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday rated the wheat
crop in top growing state Kansas at only 12 percent in
good-to-excellent condition, down 2 points from a month ago.

    Wheat ratings also declined in Oklahoma, Montana, the
Dakotas, Nebraska and Colorado.
    Severe cold in Europe this week was also keeping attention
on weather risks, although snow cover was expected to limit the
impact of deep frosts in top wheat exporter Russia.
    Soybean prices are drawing support from scant rainfall in
Argentina that continued to threaten harvest prospects in the
No. 3 global producer after Brazil and the United States.
    However, the impact on global supply could be curbed by
Brazil's harvest which some forecasters expect to hit a record
    Soybean harvesting and planting of the main corn crop in
Paraná, Brazil's second largest grain-producing state, sharply
increased in the week to Monday, as farmers took advantage of a
break from rains to speed up field work.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybeans,
wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday and net sellers
of soyoil, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0353 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  478.25   1.25     +0.26%   +2.74%       459.07   67
 CBOT corn   371.00   0.50     +0.13%   +1.30%       361.23   76
 CBOT soy    1054.00  4.50     +0.43%   +0.62%       1010.30  80
 CBOT rice   12.18    $0.02    +0.16%   +0.08%       $12.43   39
 WTI crude   62.63    -$0.38   -0.60%   -1.45%       $63.15   54
 Euro/dlr    $1.222   -$0.007  -0.57%   -0.86%                
 USD/AUD     0.7784   -0.006   -0.74%   -0.78%                
 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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