Wires

GRAINS-Wheat rebounds from heavy losses but checked by slow U.S. sales

Colin Packham

* Wheat rebounds from losses of 2% on Wednesday

* Soybeans nearly flat on Chinese buying, U.S. supply estimate

* Corn little changed after 1.2% decline in previous session

SYDNEY, Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged higher on Thursday, rebounding from losses of 2% in the previous session, although gains were still held back amid signs that North American supplies remain uncompetitive into key markets in Asia. Soybeans were near flat after posting losses of 0.6% in the previous session, and corn was little changed. The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.2% at $4.90-1/4 a bushel by 0307 GMT, after a big drop on Wednesday as U.S. supplies struggled to compete against major exporters in the Black Sea and Europe. "The gains in prices elsewhere are allowing Russian wheat prices to rise and yet remain the most competitive offer throughout much of Asia," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Market attention now turns to latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) export data. Analysts are expecting a USDA report on Thursday to show weekly wheat export sales in a range from 200,000 tonnes to 600,000 tonnes, below typical volumes for this time of year. Last week, the USDA said 283,156 tonnes were exported.

Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, said on Wednesday it bought 60,000 tonnes of French wheat in a tender for shipment over Nov. 5-15. The most active soybean futures were near unchanged at $9.13-1/4 a bushel, after closing down 0.6% on Wednesday. Despite the drop in the previous session, recent Chinese buying and the USDA's surprisingly low estimate for U.S. soybean stocks provide a floor to losses. Chinese companies purchased up to 600,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans on Monday as part of a tariff-free quota allotted to importers to buy as much as 2 million tonnes, two sources with knowledge of the deals said. The USDA on Monday pegged U.S. soybean supplies at 913 million bushels as of Sept. 1, below the average estimate for 982 million bushels. Soybean stocks, however, were up 108% from a year earlier, largely due to a drop in U.S. exports to China. The most active corn futures were unchanged at $3.87-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 1.2% in the previous session. INTL FCStone's forecast for this year's U.S. corn harvest added to the bearish tone. The firm on Tuesday raised its estimate of the average U.S. 2019 corn yield to 169.3 bushels per acre, from 168.4 in its previous monthly report

Grains prices at 0306 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 490.00 1.00 +0.20% 479.32 54CBOT corn 387.75 0.00 +0.00% 370.33 68CBOT soy 913.50 -0.25 -0.03% 879.03 67CBOT rice 11.74 $0.02 +0.17% $11.94 37WTI crude 52.79 $0.15 +0.28% $56.14 30

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.096 $0.000 +0.00%USD/AUD 0.6713 0.001 +0.15%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Tom Hogue)