December 28, 2017 / 12:26 PM / 4 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat down, but adverse U.S. weather, weak dollar stem losses

    * Cold weather across key producing region threatens crops
    * Soybeans fall from two-week high; corn also lower

    By Colin Packham and Sybille de La Hamaide
    SYDNEY/PARIS, Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell on
Thursday after posting gains of more than 1 percent in the
previous session, though the drop was limited by ongoing
concerns about potential crop losses from recent cold weather
across the United States.
    Soybeans were also down, retreating from a near two-week
high touched in the previous session, while corn edged lower.
    The fall in grains was also slowed by a weaker dollar,
making them more competitive on world markets.
    The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade
 were down 0.5 percent at $4.26 a bushel by 1200 GMT,
having closed up 1.4 percent on Wednesday.
    Despite the drop, traders said prices remain supported by
concerns over potential yield losses as cold weather lingers
across the U.S. Plains.
    "Activity is light and we are seeing some squaring after
last night, though losses are limited by the potential adverse
weather in the States," said one Melbourne-based trader.
    Investment funds were holding a near record net short
position in U.S. wheat futures and had sizeable net shorts in
corn and soybeans, according to regulatory data released last
week.
    The most active corn futures fell 0.2 percent to $3.53
a bushel, having gained 0.3 percent in the previous session.
    The most active soybean futures were down 0.4 percent
to $9.63-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.3 percent on
Wednesday after earlier hitting a high of $9.76 a bushel - the
highest since Dec. 14.
    Soybeans have drawn support from concerns that dry weather
conditions in some parts of Argentina may curtail production.
    However, recent rains in the central Pampas grains belt are
expected to improve soil moisture and allow producers to advance
with plantings of soybeans and corn, which had been delayed due
to dry weather, agricultural analysts said.
    An explosion at a port operated by Chinese export company
COFCO in Argentina's Rosario grains hub killed one person dead
and injured others, local authorities said. It was unclear how
the incident would impact operations at the port.
    
 Prices at 1200 GMT                                             
                            Last  Change    Pct      End     Ytd
                                           Move     2016     Pct
                                                            Move
 CBOT wheat Mar           426.00   -2.00  -0.47   408.00    4.41
 CBOT corn Mar            353.00   -0.75  -0.21   352.00    0.28
 CBOT soy Mar             963.50   -4.00  -0.41  1004.00   -4.03
 Paris wheat Mar          159.25   -0.25  -0.16   177.50  -10.28
 Paris maize Jan          154.25    0.25   0.16   166.00   -7.08
 Paris rape Feb           348.25   -2.25  -0.64   380.25   -8.42
 WTI crude oil             59.62   -0.02  -0.03    53.72   10.98
 Euro/dlr                   1.19    0.00   0.41                 
 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel,
 Paris futures in euros per tonne
 
 (Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and David Evans)
  
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