GRAINS-U.S. wheat slips after hitting 2-week high
* Demand from exporters and feed makers lifts wheat
* Soy ticks up after losses, Brazil harvest weighs
* Corn heads for second week of gains in six
(Adds analyst, updates prices) AMSTERDAM/SINGAPORE, March 15 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat prices eased on Friday after climbing for six consecutive sessions to its highest in two weeks, in a rally sparked by strong demand from exporters and animal feed producers. Soybeans ticked higher, snapping a three-day losing streak on bargain hunting but the market remains under pressure from a record harvest from Brazil. Weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed a net 888,500 tonnes of wheat export sales for the current marketing year and 198,500 tonnes for the next marketing year. Combined sales were the largest for a single week since February 2011. "The export rhythm has been increasing in wheat since the beginning of 2012," French analyst Agritel said in a daily note. Analysts said the wheat market is likely to remain torn between strong demand for U.S. supplies and favourable weather boosting crop prospects in the United States and the Black Sea region. "The wheat market is going to get pushed and pulled as crop conditions look okay on one hand, which is negative, and on the other hand significant demand is coming back in the U.S. export market," said Luke Mathews, commodities strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "We are also seeking a pickup in wheat demand from the domestic livestock industry in the U.S." Russia's plan to buy wheat on the domestic market from August to October to replenish depleted stocks was also supportive as the move could limit some competition for U.S. wheat from low-cost Russian grain. The rally in wheat has lifted it from its lowest level in nine months, struck last week when prices fell on weak demand and improved conditions in the drought-hit U.S. grain belt. Demand for feed-grade wheat has firmed since then, following corn's rise above wheat after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) pegged corn end-of-season stocks for the 2012/13 year at a 17-year low. Chicago Board of Trade most-active May wheat fell 0.38 percent to $7.22 a bushel by 1202 GMT, after climbing to $7.25-1/2 a bushel on Thursday, its highest since March 1. May soybeans rose 0.3 percent to $14.40 a bushel while May corn lost 0.07 percent to $7.16 a bushel. For the week, May wheat has climbed 4 percent, the biggest weekly rise since Jan. 20, while corn has risen 1.8 percent, the market's second week of gains in last six weeks. May soybeans have lost nearly 2 percent this week, the contract's biggest weekly decline since early January. The soybean market is coming under pressure as Brazil's record crop enters the market. Premiums over Chicago futures prices paid for soybeans at Brazil's Paranagua port turned negative for the first time in the 2012/13 crop year on Thursday as the record harvest pressures prices and transportation delays crimp demand.
Brazilian soy was bid at 2 cents per bushel below prices on the CBOT at Paranagua, one of Brazil's two main grains ports along with Santos. Brazilian dock workers postponed a 24-hour nationwide strike planned for March 19 to allow more time to negotiate with the government. The move eased concerns about worsening shipping delays as Brazil aims to export its record-large crop.
* Prices as of 1155 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move End 2011 Ytd PctParis maize 224.25 0.25 +0.11 197.25 13.69 Paris rape 463.75 3.25 +0.71 421.50 10.02 CBOT wheat 722.00 -2.75 -0.38 671.25 7.56 CBOT corn 716.25 -0.25 -0.03 654.75 9.39 CBOT soybeans 1439.75 4.25 +0.30 1207.75 19.21 Crude oil 93.52 0.49 +0.53 98.83 -5.37 Euro/dlr 1.31 0.09 +7.83 1.30 0.83 * All grain and oilseed prices for second position. Paris futures prices in
euros per tonne, London wheat in pounds per tonne and CBOT in cents per bushel.
(Editing by James Jukwey)