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GRAINS-Soybean prices drop to lowest since 2008 at below $8 a bushel

Naveen Thukral

* Soybeans hit lowest in more than 10 years at $7.99-1/2

* Escalating Washington-Beijing trade war weighs on prices

(Adds comment, detail) SINGAPORE, May 13 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures on Monday fell to their lowest in more than 10 years, pressured by concerns that an escalation in the trade war between Washington and Beijing would further hit U.S. exports of the oilseed. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade had dropped 1.1% to $8.00-1/4 a bushel by 0208 GMT, after earlier marking its lowest since December 2008 at $7.99-1/2 a bushel. Corn lost 0.9% to $3.48-3/4 a bushel and wheat was down 0.6% at $4.22-1/4 a bushel. "China has not yet announced any retaliation to higher U.S. tariffs. But the U.S. has said that 'no deal' will result in U.S. tariffs being applied to all imports from China," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "And the U.S. has begun to harden their deadlines." Should the Sino-U.S. trade war drag on, U.S. agricultural exports will likely suffer. China is expected to retaliate against the United States for increasing its tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10% early on Friday. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Friday that President Donald Trump had asked him to create a plan to help U.S. farmers cope with the heavy impact of the trade conflict. A new aid program would be the second round of assistance for farmers, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) $12 billion plan last year to compensate for lower prices for farm goods and lost sales stemming from trade disputes with China and other nations. The USDA on Friday forecast bigger-than-expected domestic supplies of soybeans, corn and wheat, further pressuring the markets. Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to May 7, regulatory data released on Friday showed. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net short position in CBOT wheat and increased their net short position in soybeans.

Grains prices at 0208 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 422.25 -2.50 -0.59% -1.69% 450.24 30CBOT corn 348.75 -3.00 -0.85% -1.27% 365.41 27CBOT soy 800.25 -9.00 -1.11% -1.54% 875.25 5CBOT rice 11.03 $0.04 +0.36% +0.82% $10.73 73WTI crude 61.54 -$0.12 -0.19% -0.26% $63.31

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.123 $0.000 +0.00% +0.12%USD/AUD 0.6981 -0.002 -0.27% -0.10%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)