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GRAINS-Corn eases 1% as USDA tempers fears over crop condition

    SYDNEY, July 16 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures fell 1% on
Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the
condition of North American crops was better than expected,
easing fears that production will fall short of official
forecasts.
         
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade
 were down 0.9% at $4.43 a bushel by 0043 GMT, having
closed down 2.7% in the previous session. Prices hit a five-year
high of $4.64-3/4 a bushel on Monday on concerns about hot, dry
weather, but turned lower on forecasts for rain.
    * The most active soybean futures were down 0.6% at
$9.14-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 1.2% on Tuesday.
    * The most active wheat futures were down 0.6% at
$5.04-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 2.9% on Monday. 
    * The USDA said in a weekly report that 58% of the corn crop
is good-to-excellent, ahead of market expectations of 56%.

    * It said 76% of the U.S. wheat crop is in good-to-excellent
condition, down 2 percentage points and behind market
expectations.
    * The USDA report said 54% of the U.S. soybean crops are in
good-to-excellent condition, slightly ahead of market forecasts.
         
    MARKET NEWS  
    * The dollar edged higher on Monday in thin summer trading,
with its potential upside limited by expectations the Federal
Reserve will cut interest rates at next week's policy meeting.
  
    * Oil prices sank about 1% on Monday on signs that the
impact of a tropical storm on U.S. Gulf Coast production and
refining would be short-lived, while Chinese economic data
dimmed the crude demand outlook.  
    * The benchmark S&P 500 index ended little changed on Monday
after oscillating between positive and negative territory
throughout the session after Citigroup Inc kicked off the
earnings season with a mixed quarterly report.  
        
 Grains prices at  0043 GMT
 Contract       Last  Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg   MA 30   RSI 
 CBOT wheat   504.50   -3.25   -0.64%       -3.54%  522.31     39
 CBOT corn    443.00   -4.00   -0.89%       -3.54%  442.57     50
 CBOT soy     914.50   -5.50   -0.60%       -1.83%  911.48     54
 CBOT rice     11.84  -$0.04   -0.38%       -0.55%  $11.77     73
 WTI crude     59.45  -$0.13   -0.22%       -1.26%  $56.21     60
 Currencies                                                      
 Euro/dlr     $1.126  $0.000   +0.04%       -0.07%               
 USD/AUD      0.7041   0.000   +0.03%       +0.34%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 
    

 (Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)
  
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