GRAINS-Soybeans ease from 3-week top, wheat rises for 4th session

SINGAPORE, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Chicago soybeans edged lower
on Tuesday, but the market was still near last session's highest
in more than three weeks with prices underpinned by strong
demand and firm edible oil markets. 
    Wheat rose for a fourth consecutive session on support from
short-covering by funds, while corn edged higher after closing
almost flat on Monday.
    The Chicago Board of Trade's most-active soybean contract
 eased 0.1 percent to $9.77 a bushel by 0037 GMT, but ws
not far off last session's peak of $9.79 a bushel, the highest
since Sept. 22.
    * Wheat added 0.3 percent to $4.25 a bushel and corn
 gained 0.3 percent to $3.55 a bushel.
    * Soybeans are drawing support as Malaysian palm oil
 surged more than 4 percent, partly on forecasts of
weaker production growth for the month of October. 
    * There was additional support for the soybean market from
higher-than-expected export inspections. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture reported export inspections of U.S. soybeans in the
latest week at 2.5 million tonnes, above a range of trade
estimates for 1.3 million to 1.6 million tonnes. 
    * The National Oilseed Processors Association said its
members crushed 129.405 million bushels of soybeans in
September, above an average of trade estimates for 127.7
    * The NOPA reported U.S. soyoil stocks at the end of
September at 1.376 billion lbs, down from 1.620 billion a month
earlier and tighter than the average trade estimate of 1.500
    * After the CBOT close on Monday, the USDA said the U.S.
corn harvest was 46 percent complete, behind the five-year
average of 49 percent. The soybean harvest was 62 percent
complete, near the five-year average of 63 percent. 
    * Farmers have been reluctant sellers of corn this autumn,
opting to store much of the crop and hold out for higher prices.
    * Wheat futures firmed on fund-driven short covering and a
pick-up in global wheat export business. The latest deal was
Monday's 610,000-tonne hard wheat purchase by Saudi Arabia.  

    * Major stock markets around the world fell on Monday and
U.S. and European bond yields slipped from four-month highs amid
uncertainty over the health of the global economy. 
 Grains prices at 0044 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  425.00  1.25    +0.29%   +0.95%       404.68  71
 CBOT corn   355.00  1.00    +0.28%   +0.21%       339.63  69
 CBOT soy    977.00  -1.25   -0.13%   +1.51%       961.78  64
 CBOT rice   10.36   -$0.04  -0.43%   +1.97%       $9.91   66
 WTI crude   50.20   $0.26   +0.52%   -0.30%       $47.27  56
 Euro/dlr    $1.101  $0.002  +0.15%   +0.41%               
 USD/AUD     0.7656  0.003   +0.41%   +0.59%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Richard Pullin)