GRAINS-Wheat firms as USDA confirms damage to crops


SYDNEY, March 13 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures rose on Tuesday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture said production in a key growing region was damaged last week by continued adverse weather. FUNDAMENTALS * The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.2 percent at $4.91-1/4 a bushel by 0055 GMT, having closed up 0.3 percent on Monday. * The most active soybean futures were up 0.3 percent to $10.43-3/4 a bushel after earlier hitting a low of $10.32 a bushel – the lowest since Feb. 21. Soybeans firmed 0.2 percent on Monday. * The most active corn futures were down 0.1 percent at $3.90-1/2 a bushel. * The U.S. Department of Agriculture after the close of trading on Monday rated 12 percent of the Kansas winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, down from 13 percent a week earlier. The USDA rated 53 percent of the Kansas crop as poor to very poor, up from 50 percent the previous week. * The USDA earlier on Monday said 389,358 tonnes of U.S. wheat were exported last week, within the range of expectations. Exports of 910,237 tonnes of soybeans were also within expectations, while corn exports of 1.4 million tonnes topped estimates. * Drought was reducing yield potential for soy and corn in Argentina and for wheat in the southern U.S. Plains. * Some scorched soy fields in Argentina would be little helped by rainfall that could arrive this weekend. MARKET NEWS * The dollar fell on Monday, pressured by data showing persistently low wages that will likely constrain the U.S. Federal Reserve from raising interest rates more than three times this year. * Oil prices fell on Monday as investors grappled with ongoing concerns over rising U.S. output and tight OPEC supply, while last week’s data showing speculators cut bets on oil suggested more selling could be seen. * The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped on Monday as the U.S. tariffs signed into law last week by President Donald Trump weighed on industrials, though gains in tech stocks boosted the Nasdaq. ATA AHEAD (GMT) 1000 U.S. NFIB business optimism index Feb 1230 U.S. Consumer prices Feb 1500 U.S. Cleveland Fed CPI Feb Grains prices at 0055 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 491.75 1.00 +0.20% +0.51% 478.08 57 CBOT corn 390.50 -0.25 -0.06% +0.00% 377.75 69 CBOT soy 1043.75 2.75 +0.26% +0.43% 1032.43 41 CBOT rice 12.31 $0.00 +0.00% -1.01% $12.44 42 WTI crude 61.19 -$0.17 -0.28% -1.37% $62.13 44 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.234 $0.001 +0.06% +0.28% USD/AUD 0.7876 0.000 +0.05% +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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