March 23, 2018 / 3:27 AM / 4 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat faces 3rd week of decline on global supplies, U.S. weather

    * Wheat down 8.4 pct in 3 weeks of declines, U.S. rains
    * Soybeans edged higher after closing unchanged on Thursday

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, March 23 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures ticked
higher on Friday but the market is set to fall for a third week,
under pressure from abundant world supplies and rains that
improved the U.S. winter crop outlook.
    Soybeans ticked higher although the market remained focussed
on fears of a U.S.-China trade war which could dent demand for
the oilseed, hitting U.S. farmers.
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of
Trade is down more than 2 percent for the week, extending
three-week losses to 8.5 percent.
    Soybeans have given up 1.6 percent this week, after
closing up 1 percent the previous week and corn has
dropped 1.5 percent, the market's second week of declines.
    Wheat has been under sustained pressure this week after
rains fell across the U.S. Plains, aiding crops that were
suffered from dry weather.
    "People are not willing to take positions in the wheat
market as it is very heavily supplied," said one Singapore-based
trader. "Black Sea crop is looking good and we have had some
favourable weather in the United States."
    Worries about the fallout of a potential trade war with
China, the world's top soybean importer, hung over the market.
President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that
could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese products,
but only after a consultation period.
    The International Grains Council (IGC) forecast global grain
stocks will fall in 2018/19, with the bulk of the decline seen
in corn.
    The IGC said total grain stocks would fall by 46 million
tonnes to 560 million tonnes, including a 42 million-tonne
drawdown in corn to 265 million tonnes. Wheat inventories were
seen declining by 3 million tonnes to 253 million tonnes.

    Declining Argentina crop estimates lent support to soybean
prices. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange cut its estimate of the
country's soybean crop to 39.5 million tonnes, from 42 million
    But Brazil is on track to harvest yet another record soybean
crop this season, with output expected to reach an 117.5 million
    The spotlight is turning to the U.S. planting season. 
    Private analytics firm Informa Economics raised its forecast
of U.S. 2018 soybean plantings to 91.5 million acres, a record
high if achieved, and lowered its corn forecast to 88.9 million
acres, trade sources said.
    U.S. farmers planted 90.1 million acres of soybeans and 90.2
million acres of corn in 2017.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat and
soymeal futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of
soybeans and soyoil, traders said.
 Grains prices at  0253 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  458.25   2.50    +0.55%   +1.16%       478.04   35
 CBOT corn   377.00   1.00    +0.27%   +0.67%       380.24   46
 CBOT soy    1032.75  3.00    +0.29%   +0.44%       1041.21  47
 CBOT rice   12.31    -$0.02  -0.16%   +0.82%       $12.35   51
 WTI crude   64.93    $0.63   +0.98%   -0.37%       $61.90   69
 Euro/dlr    $1.234   $0.000  +0.00%   +0.78%                
 USD/AUD     0.7711   -0.005  -0.70%   +0.38%                
 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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