GRAINS-Wheat drops 4th straight session as U.S. weather improves; corn, soybeans down

soybeans down@

* Chicago wheat hits lowest since Jan. 26, down 1.5 pct

* Protective snow cover across U.S. Midwest pressures prices

* Soybeans at 2-week low on outlook for Argentina rains

(Adds details, quotes) SINGAPORE, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures slid 1.5 percent on Monday, falling a fourth consecutive session to its lowest in more than a week, as heavy snow across the U.S. Midwest eases dry weather worry. Soybeans fell to their lowest since Jan. 18, and corn fell almost 1 percent, with forecasts of rains in Argentina's parched farming areas putting pressure on prices. The Chicago Board Of Trade most-active wheat contract lost 1.5 percent to $4.40-1/4 a bushel by 0323 GMT, not far off $4.39-1/4 a bushel, its lowest since Jan. 26. Soybeans fell 0.7 percent to $9.72-1/4 a bushel, near the session low of $9.71-3/4 a bushel, the weakest since Jan. 18. Corn gave up 0.8 percent to $3.58-1/2 a bushel. "We are in the weather market. Wheat prices are coming down as there has been snowfall around the U.S. Midwest," said one India-based commodities analyst. "Forecasts are showing signs of decent rainfall in Argentina, which should improve both soybeans and corn (output)." Snow falls across the U.S. Midwest provided a protective snow cover, as well as much needed moisture for crops. Further snow is expected. Informa Economics, a private analytics firm, lowered its estimates of Argentina's 2017/18 corn and soybean crops, according to an Informa client note seen by Reuters on Friday. The firm estimated Argentina's 2017/18 corn crop at 37.0 million tonnes, down 5 million tonnes from a prior forecast. It also noted below-normal rainfall Argentina's crop belt. Informa put 2017/18 Argentine soybean production at 51 million tonnes, down 3.5 million from its previous estimate. But rains in the weeks ahead are expected to boost corn and soybean yields in the South American supplier. China's corn futures climbed in early trading on Monday after Beijing launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into sorghum imports from the United States, a move that analysts and traders said could boost demand for local corn. The most-active corn futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.7 percent to 1,817 yuan ($288.50) per tonne on Monday morning. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures on Friday, traders said.

Recent weather concerns in the U.S. and Argentina had earlier prompted funds to cover their short positions in agriculture futures.

Grains prices at 0323 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 440.25 -6.50 -1.45% -2.55% 431.79 51 CBOT corn 358.50 -3.00 -0.83% -0.83% 352.98 54 CBOT soy 972.25 -6.50 -0.66% -2.36% 972.86 38 CBOT rice 12.49 $0.02 +0.20% +0.36% $12.08 72 WTI crude 64.73 -$0.72 -1.10% +0.00% $62.74 53


Euro/dlr $1.246 $0.004 +0.35% +0.55% USD/AUD 0.7929 -0.018 -2.22% -1.23%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential ($1 = 6.2978 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by Tom Hogue)