GRAINS-Wheat eases, but set for weekly gains of 2.5 pct

SYDNEY, May 9 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures edged down on Friday, but were heading for a weekly gain of more than 2 percent, supported by unfavourable weather across the Southern U.S. Plains and rising fears of supply disruptions in Ukraine.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chicago Board Of Trade July wheat is trading up 2.5 percent for the week, the fourth straight weekly gain.

* July soybeans is down about 0.1 percent for the week, the third consecutive weekly slide.

* July corn it up more than 3 percent for the week, the biggest gain in nine weeks.

* Traders focused on Friday’s monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture crop production and supply and demand reports. Analysts on average are expecting it to be above last year’s 744 million bushels, despite one of the harshest winters on record and a severe drought.

* The USDA could trim its forecast for 2013/14 corn ending stocks from its April figure of 1.331 billion bushels, given the strong pace of corn exports.

* For 2013/14 soybean stocks, analysts are expecting the USDA to keep its estimates broadly unchanged with average forecasts pointing to 134 million bushels compared with 135 million bushels – a 10-year low – in the report published in April.

* But while old-crop stocks slide, new-crop supplies should more than double by the end of 2014/15 as farmers make record-high plantings of the oilseed, analysts said.

* Chinese customs data on Thursday revealed that soybean imports in April were a larger-than-expected 6.5 million tonnes, although analysts noted that shipments to the world’s top importer should begin to slow.

* Pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule, declaring they would go ahead on Sunday with a vote that could lead to war.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar gained against the euro on Thursday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank might act to stem falling inflation at its June meeting, erasing the dollar’s earlier fall to a 2-1/2 year low.

* U.S. crude oil prices fell on Thursday after hitting resistance at a key technical level, and Brent also fell as traders awaited developments in Ukraine.

* U.S. stocks mostly fell on Thursday with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closing lower, led by losses in the energy and utility sectors.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0130 China

Producer prices

April

0130 China

Consumer prices

April

0600 Germany Trade data

March

0645 France

Budget balance

March

0800 Italy

Industrial output

March

1600 U.S. World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

Grains prices at 0025 GMT Contract

Last

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

733.75

-1.50 -0.20%

-0.54%

699.91 65 CBOT corn

515.25

-1.25 -0.24%

+0.24%

508.08 60 CBOT soy

1468.75

-0.75 -0.05%

+1.56%

1472.58 47 CBOT rice

$15.50

$0.00 +0.00%

-0.35%

$15.53 36 WTI crude

$100.28

$0.02 +0.02%

-0.49%

$101.52 45 Currencies

Euro/dlr

$1.384 $0.000 -0.04%

-0.54% USD/AUD

0.936 -0.001 -0.12%

+0.33% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Ed Davies)

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