GRAINS-Wheat faces fourth weekly decline as U.S. rains boost crop outlook

* Chicago wheat falls nearly 11 percent in four weeks

* Some rains in U.S. Plains boost prospects for winter crop

* Market awaits USDA data on corn and soybeans

(Updates prices) SINGAPORE/PARIS, March 29 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures ticked higher on Thursday after hitting their lowest in nearly two months, with the market poised for a fourth consecutive weekly decline as rains in the parched U.S. Plains boost crop prospects. Soybean prices eased and were on track for a second week of declines while corn edged higher in Asian trade but was still set to end in negative territory for the third week in a row. The most active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade added 0.45 percent to $4.47-1/2 a bushel by 1044 GMT. The contract had touched $4.44-1/4 earlier in the session, its weakest level since Feb. 6. Soybeans were down 0.1 percent at $10.17-1/4 a bushel and corn rose 0.3 percent to $3.74-3/4 a bushel. "Investors remain as potential sellers of a long position, but the trading pattern yesterday suggests they were not active," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, referring to wheat futures. "The prospect of relieving rain is also probably weighing on prices." Wheat futures have lost nearly 11 percent in four weeks of declines, while corn is down more than 4 percent in a three-week downturn. Soybeans are down by a little more than 3 percent in two straight weeks of losses. Investors in agricultural markets are readying for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's plantings and stocks reports. Analysts expect the government to project an increase in U.S. soybean plantings compared with 2017 and a decline in corn acreage. The market also expects the USDA to show the largest U.S. March 1 stocks on record for both corn and soybeans after several bumper harvests. Brazilian soybean farmers are looking at another strong year after a drought in Argentina and international trade tensions involving the United States and China boosted prospects for the country's oilseeds industry. Drought-hit Argentine soy yields are well below historic averages, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Wednesday, with 8.8 percent of the harvest completed in the central farm belt and little hope of near-term improvement in the weather.

A recent increase in dryness in northern parts of the Pampas agricultural area did not bode well for harvesting over the weeks ahead, the exchange said in its weekly crop report. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybeans, wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday, and net buyers in soyoil, traders said.

Prices at 1044 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd Move 2017 Pct


CBOT wheat May 447.50 2.00 0.45 427.00 4.80 CBOT corn May 374.75 1.25 0.33 350.75 6.84 CBOT soy May 1017.25 -0.75 -0.07 951.75 6.88 Paris wheat May 162.75 -0.25 -0.15 162.50 0.15 Paris maize Jun 163.50 -0.25 -0.15 163.50 0.00 Paris rape May 346.25 0.00 0.00 347.75 -0.43 WTI crude oil 64.43 0.05 0.08 60.42 6.64 Euro/dlr 1.23 0.00 -0.02

Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne

(Additional reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide Editing by Richard Pullin and David Goodman)