April 12, 2018 / 8:44 PM / a year ago

GRAINS-Wheat sags on sluggish export demand; U.S. weather eyed

 (New throughout; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline,
changes dateline from previous PARIS/SYDNEY)
    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, April 12 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell more
than 1 percent on Thursday on reminders of ample world supplies
and strong competition for export business, along with some
forecasts for much-needed rains next week in the U.S. Plains,
analysts said.
    Soybean futures rose on export demand for U.S. supplies, and
corn ended modestly higher.
    Chicago Board of Trade May wheat settled down 6-1/4
cents at $4.81 per bushel while K.C. May hard red winter wheat
 was down 9-1/4 cents at $5.07-1/2.
    CBOT May soybeans ended up 13 cents at $10.60-3/4 a
bushel and May corn rose 1-3/4 cents at $3.88-3/4 a
    Wheat fell as traders focused on plentiful global stockpiles
and sluggish demand for U.S. supplies. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture reported export sales of U.S. wheat in the latest
week at 188,700 tonnes (old and new crop years combined), below
trade expectations.
    The USDA on Tuesday raised its forecast of world wheat
stocks at the end of the 2017/18 marketing year to 271.2 million
tonnes, an all-time high.
    Additional pressure stemmed from forecasting models showing
increased chances of rain late next week in the drought-hit
southern Plains winter wheat belt.
    "The models definitely shifted wetter today versus where
they have been the last couple days. But we are still very low
confidence on that," said Joel Widenor, meteorologist with the
Commodity Weather Group.
    CBOT soybeans climbed on strong weekly U.S. export sales
along with news this week that Argentina, typically the No. 3
soybean producer, was buying U.S. and Brazilian soybeans after
drought slashed Argentina's crop. 
    Argentina bought 120,000 tonnes of soybeans from Brazil last
week, an analyst at trading and consultancy firm Labhoro told
    The Rosario grains exchange on Wednesday cut its estimate of
the country's soy crop to 37 million tonnes, from 40 million
    The USDA reported export sales of U.S. soybeans in the week
to April 5 at 2,464,500 tonnes (old and new crop years
combined), topping a range of trade expectations. Sales of
old-crop soybeans topped 1.5 million tonnes, the most in five
    Traders were monitoring a blizzard expected in South Dakota
and Nebraska on Friday that could delay U.S. plantings of corn
and spring wheat, potentially prompting farmers to switch more
acres to soybeans.
        CBOT settlement prices:
                                  Net     Pct  Volume
                         Last  change  change        
 CBOT wheat     WK8    481.00   -6.25    -1.3   76310
 CBOT corn      CK8    388.75    1.75     0.4  180049
 CBOT soybeans  SK8   1060.75   13.00     1.3  168538
 CBOT soymeal   SMK8   383.40    3.20     0.8   44518
 CBOT soyoil    BOK8    31.63    0.10     0.3   50165
    NOTE: CBOT May wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per
bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per

 (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham
in Sydney; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and David Goodman)
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