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GRAINS-Soybean prices hit lowest since 2008, touch below $8 per 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 chart, updates prices) SINGAPORE, May 13 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures on Monday dropped 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 0.8% to $8.03 a bushel, as of 0626 GMT, after earlier marking its lowest since December 2008 at $7.99-1/2 a bushel. Corn lost 0.6% to $3.49-1/2 a bushel, and wheat was down 0.7% at $4.22 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 programme 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 CBOT soybean July contract may fall more into a range of $7.88-1/4 to $7.94-1/2 per bushel, as it has cleared a key support at $8.04, Wang Tao, Reuters market analyst for commodities technicals, wrote in a report. 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 ended May 7, regulatory data released on Friday showed. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial 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 0626 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 422.00 -2.75 -0.65% -1.75% 450.23 30CBOT corn 349.50 -2.25 -0.64% -1.06% 365.43 27CBOT soy 803.00 -6.25 -0.77% -1.20% 875.34 5CBOT rice 11.03 $0.04 +0.36% +0.82% $10.73 73WTI crude 61.75 $0.09 +0.15% +0.08% $63.32

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.123 $0.000 +0.00% +0.12%USD/AUD 0.6974 -0.003 -0.37% -0.20%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)