June 8, 2018 / 5:33 PM / 6 months ago

GRAINS-Soybeans slump on trade worries, good U.S. crop weather

* Soybeans fall to multi-month lows on good crop weather

* Corn bounces from four-month low on short-covering

* Wheat eases after gains on dry weather risks worldwide (Recasts with U.S. market open, adds quote, updates prices, changes byline, changes dateline from PARIS/SINGAPORE)

By Karl Plume

CHICAGO, June 8 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures slid for a fifth straight session on Friday and were on pace for the steepest weekly decline in 10 months as favorable U.S. crop weather and concerns over slowing export trade weighed on prices.

Corn futures edged up on short-covering after earlier dipping to multi-month lows on good Midwest crop weather. Wheat futures retreated after three days of gains on profit taking ahead of the weekend.

Rainy conditions across the heart of the Midwest farm belt have pressured grain prices this week as recently planted corn and soybean crops are off to a strong start to the growing season. The U.S. Agriculture Department’s crop condition ratings are among the highest on record for both crops.

Grain traders, meanwhile, remain cautious amid heightened trade tensions between the United States and key importers such as China and Mexico.

“We have good conditions and a fairly non-threatening forecast so we’ve taken a lot of the weather premium out. That has been compounded by uncertainty about trade,” said Ted Seifried, analyst with Zaner Ag Hedge.

“Since we continued to move forward with our tariffs, China has been very noticeably absent from the market, especially on new-crop bean purchases,” he said.

Chicago Board of Trade July soybeans fell 4-1/4 cents to $9.70 a bushel by 12:09 p.m. CDT (1709 GMT) after hitting a low of $9.62-1/2, the contract’s lowest point since Aug. 21.

CBOT July corn was up 2-1/4 cents at $3.78-1/2 a bushel, bouncing from an earlier four-month low of $3.73-1/2. The contract is on pace for a second straight weekly decline.

Both have slipped below key moving averages.

Investors are turning their attention towards next Tuesday’s monthly crop forecasts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

CBOT July wheat fell 7-3/4 cents to $5.19 a bushel after three days of gains that were fuelled by concerns about crops in several major exporting countries.

Dry weather in parts of Russia, Australia and the European Union have added to worries about drought-reduced yields in the U.S. winter wheat harvest now under way.

“Dry weather in the Black Sea and Australia is supporting prices. This comes as there are also reports of lower-than-expected yields in the United States,” said Angus Thornton, analyst at Profarmer Australia.

Chicago wheat futures are forecast to remain over $5 a bushel in the second half of 2018, reflecting weather-reduced harvests in several countries, Commerzbank said on Thursday.

Reporting by Karl Plume; Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Louise Heavens and Andrea Ricci

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