GRAINS-Wheat lower on technicals, better weather; soy, corn sag

(New throughout; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes dateline from previous PARIS/SINGAPORE) CHICAGO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell to a one-week low on Monday on technical selling and an improving weather outlook, including beneficial moisture in parts of the Midwest winter wheat belt, analysts said. Soybean futures set a two-week low on forecasts for much-needed moisture in parts of Argentina, and corn sagged as well. As of 1:07 p.m. CST (1907 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade March wheat was down 7 cents at $4.39-3/4 per bushel. March soybeans were down 7-1/2 cents at $9.71-1/4 a bushel and March corn was down 2-1/4 cent at $3.59-1/4 a bushel. All three commodities declined after the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments report on Friday showed that funds had cut their net short positions in grains and soy aggressively, leaving the market open to a round of fresh short-selling. The supplement to the CFTC's weekly commitments report showed large speculators in the week to Jan. 30 slashed their net short position in CBOT wheat by about 48,000 contracts, in soybeans by about 62,000 contracts and in corn by about 101,000 contracts. "The short-covering was far beyond what the daily indications would suggest," said Tom Fritz, a partner with EFG Group in Chicago. Also, storms this week should bring beneficial moisture to U.S. winter wheat areas, with snow in the Midwest and rain in the Southeast. Soybean futures came under pressure from rains expected next week in dry areas of Argentina, the world's No. 3 soybean grower and the No. 1 exporter of soybean meal, used as animal feed. "I'm seeing rain this weekend and some showers between Thursday and Friday of next week," said Eduardo Sierra, climate expert with the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange. "This would contain the damage." If the storms fail to materialize, Argentine soy production prospects would decline sharply, Sierra said. CBOT corn futures found underlying support from export demand for U.S. corn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported export inspections of U.S. corn in the latest week at 1.07 million tonnes, slightly above a range of trade expectations. But pressure stemmed from news over the weekend that China launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into U.S. sorghum imports. The move came less than two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped steep tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines. "Is this the beginning of a trade war? That has cast a pall over the market," Fritz said.

CBOT prices as of 1:11 p.m. CST (1911 GMT)

Net Pct Volume

Last change change

CBOT wheat WH8 439.75 -7.00 -1.6 89898 CBOT corn CH8 359.00 -2.50 -0.7 203911 CBOT soybeans SH8 970.75 -8.00 -0.8 100842 CBOT soymeal SMH8 327.30 -4.10 -1.2 41558 CBOT soyoil BOH8 32.55 0.04 0.1 44546

NOTE: CBOT March wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris, editing by Tom Hogue, David Evans and Susan Thomas)