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GRAINS-Corn, soybeans ease ahead of key USDA report; dryness curbs losses

Naveen Thukral

* Focus on USDA's supply-demand report due later on Monday Losses curbed by dryness concerns in parts of U.S. Midwest

(Adds details, quote) SINGAPORE, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Chicago corn and soybean futures slid on Monday as traders squared positions ahead of a U.S. supply-demand report, although losses were limited by concerns over dry weather curbing yields in parts of the U.S. Midwest. Wheat slid, falling for the first time in four sessions. The most-active Chicago Board of Trade corn contract fell 0.5% to $4.15-1/2 a bushel by 0154 GMT, soybeans lost 0.4% to $8.88-1/4 a bushel and wheat gave up 0.4% to $4.97-3/4 a bushel. The spotlight is on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) monthly report set for release later on Monday, which will include highly anticipated revisions to rain-hit U.S. corn and soybean planting. Analysts polled ahead of the USDA report expect the agency to cut corn and soybean acreage and production estimates.

"We feel the market has pretty much taken a majority of the risk premium out over the last few weeks," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities. "A few weeks ago a lot of a bullish outlook for the August USDA report was factored in but today it is not, so we think that there is a real chance that the USDA report may provide bullish news and market will react accordingly." Grain markets were supported last week by dry weather in corn and soy production areas of the U.S. Midwest, which could dent yield prospects after excessive spring rains that delayed or prevented many farmers from planting. Markets are also monitoring developments in a deepening trade war between the United States and China that has already slashed U.S. agricultural exports to the world's top commodities importer. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he was not ready to make a trade deal with China, fanning fears of a drawn-out and disruptive trade dispute that is now in its second year. Russia has been granted permission to export wheat to Saudi Arabia, Interfax news agency cited Russia's agriculture watchdog as saying on Friday. Reuters earlier reported that Saudi Arabia planned to relax its bug-damage specifications for wheat imports from its next tender onwards, opening the door to Black Sea imports and strengthening ties with Russia beyond energy cooperation.

Ukraine, which expects its 2019 grain crop to be in line with last year's level of around 70 million tonnes, had harvested 36.8 million tonnes of early grains by Aug. 9, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Farmers have threshed 9.5 million hectares of grains or 95% of the sown area, the ministry said in a statement. The harvested volume includes 27.1 million tonnes of wheat and 8.5 million tonnes of barley.

Grains prices at 0154 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 497.75 -1.75 -0.35% -0.15% 500.28 54CBOT corn 415.50 -2.25 -0.54% -0.66% 428.46 48CBOT soy 888.25 -3.50 -0.39% +0.59% 897.26 58CBOT rice 11.37 $0.00 +0.00% +0.13% $11.76 32WTI crude 54.19 -$0.31 -0.57% +3.14% $56.54


Euro/dlr $1.121 $0.001 +0.07% +0.25%USD/AUD 0.6781 -0.001 -0.09% -0.28%

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)