Wires

GRAINS-Corn set for biggest weekly gain in 4 months on USDA stocks forecast

Colin Packham

* Corn set to finish the week up more than 4%

* Soybeans on course to end the week 3% higher

* Wheat little changed despite Chinese purchases

SYDNEY, Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures edged lower on Friday, though the grain was poised to post its biggest one-week gains in four months as the market digested a widely-watched forecast that showed lower-than-expected North American supplies. Soybeans were little changed, but the oilseed was set to finish 3% higher for the week, while wheat was on course to end the week little changed. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.3% at $3.87-3/4 a bushel after closing up 0.3% on Thursday. Corn is up more than 4% this week, the biggest weekly rally since June. Analysts said the gains have been driven by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) surprisingly low estimate for North American supplies, though prices could go higher if U.S. government lowers its estimate for crop yields. "Next Thursday's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report, in which the USDA may update their U.S. corn yield forecast, looms large," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The USDA earlier this week pegged corn stocks at 2.114 billion bushels, below projections of 2.428 billion and down 1% from a year ago. Weekly corn export sales were 565,100 tonnes, in line with forecasts for 400,000 tonnes to 800,000 tonnes. The most active soybean futures were down 0.1% at $9.11 a bushel after closing down 0.2% on Thursday. Soybeans are up more than 3% for the week, the biggest weekly gain in the last three weeks. The weekly USDA report released on Thursday showed soybean export sales totalled 2.08 million tonnes in the week ended Sept. 26. Analysts' forecasts for soybean export sales had ranged from 900,000 tonnes to 1.4 million tonnes. The most active wheat futures were down 0.1% at $4.88-1/4 a bushel after closing unchanged on Thursday. Wheat is little changed for the week, having closed up 0.6% in the previous week. The fall in wheat came despite the USDA saying that private exporters reported the sale of 130,000 tonnes of U.S. white wheat to China for shipment in the 2019/20 season. It was China's first purchase of the variety, used to make breads and noodles, since March and its largest one-time purchase of U.S. wheat since December 2016, USDA data showed. The USDA earlier this week pegged stocks slightly above expectations at 2.385 billion bushels.

Grains prices at 0246 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 488.25 -0.50 -0.10% -0.15% 479.83 51CBOT corn 387.75 -1.00 -0.26% +0.00% 370.92 65CBOT soy 911.00 -0.75 -0.08% -0.30% 883.59 63CBOT rice 11.73 $0.01 +0.09% +0.09% $11.96 35WTI crude 52.68 $0.23 +0.44% +0.08% $56.04 25

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.098 $0.001 +0.12% +0.17%USD/AUD 0.6754 0.001 +0.19% +0.76%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Uttaresh.V)