GRAINS-Wheat set for biggest weekly gain in 8 months on U.S. dryness

SINGAPORE, March 2 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures were on track on Friday for their biggest weekly gain since late June as forecasts of more dryness across the U.S. Plains supported the market. Soybeans are poised for a fourth consecutive week of gains as a severe drought in Argentina threatens to reduce global surplus, while corn is on track for its biggest rally since early July.


* Chicago wheat futures have rallied for the last six sessions with dry weather expected to curb U.S. winter crop yields.

* Agricultural meteorologists are forecasting below normal moisture levels over the next few weeks which are expected further damage the crop.

* The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract has jumped about 11 percent this week, the market's seventh straight week of gains. Soybeans are up 2.8 percent this week while corn has gained 5.7 percent.

* Dry weather in Argentina, the world's biggest soyoil and soymeal supplier, is supporting prices.

* Crop conditions for drought-battered corn and soybeans in Argentina fell further this week, and ratings among the top three provinces are now on average about 23 percentage points lower than a month ago.

* The poor conditions prompted the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange to slash the country's soybean crop on Thursday to 44 million tonnes from its previous estimate of 47 million. It maintained corn at 37 million tonnes.

* About 57.5 million tonnes of soybeans were harvested a year ago, along with roughly 40 million tonnes of corn.

* Argentina's lower production is expected generate more demand for U.S. soybeans and corn.

* The U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday morning reported weekly soybean export sales of 979,900 tonnes, which topped forecasts for 400,000 tonnes to 800,000 tonnes.

* The agency also announced snap soybean sales on Thursday that totalled 246,000 tonnes, including 120,000 tonnes for delivery to China during the current marketing year.

* The USDA's weekly report showed corn export sales of 1.753 million tonnes, up from 1.621 million a week ago. Analysts forecasts ranged from 1 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes.


* Stock markets in Asia extended a selloff on Wall Street as investors were rattled after President Donald Trump announced the United States would impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, raising the specter of a global trade war.


0700 Germany Import prices Jan 0700 Germany Retail sales Jan 1000 Euro zone Producer prices Jan 1345 U.S. ISM-New York index Feb

Grains prices at 0130 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 514.00 -1.50 -0.29% +7.76% 463.84 85 CBOT corn 387.00 0.75 +0.19% +4.45% 363.23 88 CBOT soy 1076.25 8.25 +0.77% +2.55% 1015.90 88 CBOT rice 12.44 -$0.06 -0.48% +2.30% $12.44 68 WTI crude 61.19 $0.20 +0.33% -0.73% $62.90 43


Euro/dlr $1.227 -$0.002 -0.20% -0.49% USD/AUD 0.7764 -0.008 -0.99% -1.03%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)