* Wheat down 8.4 pct in 3 weeks of declines, U.S. rains weigh
* Soybeans edged higher after closing unchanged on Thursday
(Adds details, quotes) SINGAPORE, March 23 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures ticked higher on Friday but the market is set to fall for a third week, under pressure from abundant world supplies and rains that improved the U.S. winter crop outlook. Soybeans ticked higher although the market remained focussed on fears of a U.S.-China trade war which could dent demand for the oilseed, hitting U.S. farmers. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade is down more than 2 percent for the week, extending three-week losses to 8.5 percent. Soybeans have given up 1.6 percent this week, after closing up 1 percent the previous week and corn has dropped 1.5 percent, the market's second week of declines. Wheat has been under sustained pressure this week after rains fell across the U.S. Plains, aiding crops that were suffered from dry weather. "People are not willing to take positions in the wheat market as it is very heavily supplied," said one Singapore-based trader. "Black Sea crop is looking good and we have had some favorable weather in the United States." Worries about the fallout of a potential trade war with China, the world's top soybean importer, hung over the market. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese products, but only after a consultation period. The International Grains Council (IGC) forecast global grain stocks will fall in 2018/19, with the bulk of the decline seen in corn. The IGC said total grain stocks would fall by 46 million tonnes to 560 million tonnes, including a 42 million-tonne drawdown in corn to 265 million tonnes. Wheat inventories were seen declining by 3 million tonnes to 253 million tonnes.
Declining Argentina crop estimates lent support to soybean prices. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange cut its estimate of the country's soybean crop to 39.5 million tonnes, from 42 million previously. But Brazil is on track to harvest yet another record soybean crop this season, with output expected to reach an 117.5 million tonnes. The spotlight is turning to the U.S. planting season. Private analytics firm Informa Economics raised its forecast of U.S. 2018 soybean plantings to 91.5 million acres, a record high if achieved, and lowered its corn forecast to 88.9 million acres, trade sources said. U.S. farmers planted 90.1 million acres of soybeans and 90.2 million acres of corn in 2017. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of soybeans and soyoil, traders said.
Grains prices at 0253 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 458.25 2.50 +0.55% +1.16% 478.04 35 CBOT corn 377.00 1.00 +0.27% +0.67% 380.24 46 CBOT soy 1032.75 3.00 +0.29% +0.44% 1041.21 47 CBOT rice 12.31 -$0.02 -0.16% +0.82% $12.35 51 WTI crude 64.93 $0.63 +0.98% -0.37% $61.90 69
Euro/dlr $1.234 $0.000 +0.00% +0.78% USD/AUD 0.7711 -0.005 -0.70% +0.38%
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)