Wires

GRAINS-Corn falls on USDA condition report, strength in oil prices limit losses

Colin Packham

losses@

* Expected uptick in ethanol demand caps corn losses

* Soybeans edges lower despite hopes for U.S.-China deal

* Wheat falls despite delay in U.S. harvest

SYDNEY, Sept 17 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures declined on Tuesday as a report showed better-than-expected condition of crops, though losses were checked by expectations for an increase in demand for oil-substitute ethanol. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.3% at $3.72-3/4 a bushel as of 0413 GMT. Corn ended up 1.4% on Monday at $3.75 a bushel, the highest close since Aug. 19. Analysts attributed the fall to the better-than-expected condition of U.S. crops, though a recent rally in the price of oil provided a floor. "The likely gains in ethanol demand if oil prices maintain these new levels and lower forecasts for EU crops likely helps," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The USDA said 55% of the U.S. corn crop is in good-to-excellent condition, slightly ahead of market expectations. The most active soybean futures were down 0.1% at $8.99-1/4 a bushel. Soybeans ended 0.1% firmer on Monday, closing at their highest level since July 29. The USDA said 54% of the U.S. soybean crop is in good-to-excellent condition, matching analysts' forecasts. Traders also noted support from a National Oilseed Processors Association report that pegged August soybean crushings in the United States at 168.085 million bushels, above the average trade estimate of 162.018 million and the seventh-highest crush on record for any month. The uptick in demand comes amid renewed hopes for a deal to calm the U.S.-China trade war, stoked by recent purchases by Beijing. The USDA on Monday confirmed private sales of 256,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China. The most active wheat futures were down 0.6% at $4.85-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 1.1% in the previous session. The USDA said 76% of the U.S. spring wheat crop has been harvested, lagging well behind market expectations.

Grains prices at 0413 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 485.75 -3.00 -0.61% +0.47% 477.66 59CBOT corn 372.75 -1.25 -0.33% +1.08% 374.83 67CBOT soy 899.25 -0.75 -0.08% +0.06% 873.99 77CBOT rice 12.22 $0.00 +0.00% -0.33% $11.76 88WTI crude 62.08 -$0.82 -1.30% +13.18% $55.71 72

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.101 $0.001 +0.09% -0.57%USD/AUD 0.6841 -0.002 -0.34% -0.52%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Aditya Soni)