March 20, 2018 / 1:18 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Wheat prices firm after deep losses, rains aid drought-hit US winter crop

    SINGAPORE, March 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices rose on
Tuesday, clawing back some ground from their biggest three-day
decline since 2013 after rains brought relief to the parched
U.S. winter wheat crop in the southern Plains.
     Corn ticked higher to end a four-session losing streak,
while soybeans edged up following deep losses on Monday.
    * The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract
 had risen 0.9 percent to $4.54-3/4 a bushel by 0058 GMT.
The market has given up 7.8 percent in the last three sessions,
the biggest 3-day decline since April, 2013. 
    * Corn was up 0.1 percent at $3.75-1/2 a bushel,
having dropped 2 percent on Monday. Soybeans gained 0.2
percent to $10.25 a bushel, having fallen 2.6 percent in the
last session.
    * A winter storm brought beneficial rain and snow on Monday
to portions of the southern U.S. Plains, where the region's hard
red winter wheat crop has endured months of drought, an
agricultural meteorologist said.
    * The storm produced about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of liquid
moisture across northern, central and eastern Kansas, the
biggest U.S. wheat-growing state. It also hit Nebraska and
northern Colorado.
    * The region's hard red winter wheat is starting to emerge
from dormancy and resume spring growth, a phase that ratchets up
its need for moisture.
    * After the market closed on Monday, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture rated 11 percent of the winter wheat in top state
Kansas in good-to-excellent condition, down from 12 percent a
week earlier. Wheat ratings also declined in Texas.
    * Most of Ukraine's winter grain crops were in a good or
satisfactory condition as of March 18, analyst UkrAgroConsult
said on Monday.
    * For corn, some analysts cited pressure from rains in crop
areas of Argentina.
    * Wheat from Australia was offered at the lowest price of
$306 a tonne (c&f) in Iraq's tender to purchase a minimum 50,000
tonnes of hard milling wheat which closed on Monday. 
    * Active trading in CME Group's new cash-settled
futures for Black Sea grain suggests the exchange may have found
a way to tap into booming Black Sea export trade after an
unsuccessful earlier foray in the region.
    * Oil prices slipped on Monday as Wall Street slid more than
1 percent and energy market investors remained wary of growing
crude supply, although tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran
gave prices some support.    
    * Asian shares fell on Tuesday as investors dumped
high-flying U.S. technology stocks on fears of stiffer
regulation as Facebook came under fire following reports it
allowed improper access to user data.
 Grains prices at  0058 GMT
 Contract    Last     Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30    RSI
 CBOT wheat  454.75   4.00     +0.89%   -5.01%       478.91   30
 CBOT corn   375.50   0.50     +0.13%   -2.91%       379.71   38
 CBOT soy    1025.00  2.50     +0.24%   -1.51%       1037.36  41
 CBOT rice   12.30    $0.01    +0.08%   -0.93%       $12.40   50
 WTI crude   62.16    $0.10    +0.16%   -0.29%       $61.59   56
 Euro/dlr    $1.234   -$0.002  -0.20%   -0.40%                
 USD/AUD     0.7704   -0.017   -2.20%   -1.95%                
 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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