GRAINS-Corn falls as USDA sees crop quality best in 20 years

SYDNEY, June 17 (Reuters) – U.S. corn futures fell for the second consecutive session on Tuesday to extend losses to 1.5 percent after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the condition of the corn crop was the best in 20 years, fuelling expectations for a bumper harvest.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chicago Board Of Trade front-month corn fell 0.17 percent to $4.40-1/4 a bushel, having closed down 1.3 percent on Monday.

* Spot wheat rose 0.22 percent to $5.82-1/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.85 percent on Monday.

* Front-month soybeans unchanged at $14.21-3/4 a bushel, having slid 0.3 percent on Monday.

* The U.S. corn crop was rated 76 percent good to excellent as of June 15, the best mid-June rating for the crop since a 77 percent reading in 1994, according to USDA’s weekly crop conditions and progress report.

* Analysts were expecting corn ratings of 75 percent good to excellent.

* Soybean ratings weakened by 1 percentage point, dropping below analysts’ expectations, to 73 percent good to excellent. That was still the best mid-June ratings for soybeans on record.

* The National Oilseed Processors Association said that U.S. processors crushed a larger-than-expected 128.824 million bushels of soybeans in June.

* Australia lowered its 2014/15 wheat export forecast to 18.657 million tonnes from an estimate of 19.099 million in March. Australia last week lowered its wheat production forecast by nearly 1 percent.

* USDA said weekly export inspections of the grain were just 396,437 tonnes, below the low end of trade forecasts.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar was in a narrow range in Asia on Tuesday, caged by caution ahead of this week’s U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and concern about the developing crisis in Iraq.

* Brent crude oil futures rose on Monday as advances by Sunni insurgents in Iraq fueled concerns over a potential disruption to oil exports from OPEC’s second-largest producer.

* U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Monday, supported by a flurry of merger news, but turmoil in Iraq drove oil prices up and kept trading choppy.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0800 Italy

Trade data

April

0900 Germany

ZEW economic sentiment

June

0900 Euro zone Labour costs

Q1

1230 U.S.

Housing starts

May

1230 U.S.

Building permits

May

1230 U.S.

Consumer prices

May

Grains prices at 0039 GMT Contract

Last

Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat

582.25

1.25 +0.22%

-0.64%

649.04 16 CBOT corn

440.25

-0.75 -0.17%

-1.51%

472.54 27 CBOT soy

1421.75

0.00 +0.00%

-0.28%

1471.26 30 CBOT rice

$14.64 -$0.03 -0.17%

+0.90%

$14.93 57 WTI crude

$106.82 -$0.08 -0.07%

-0.08%

$103.08 83 Currencies

Euro/dlr

$1.358 $0.001 +0.07%

+0.30% USD/AUD

0.939 -0.001 -0.09%

-0.07% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Michael Perry)

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