GRAINS-Wheat rises on Argentina, Australia crop woes; soy firms

* Wheat gains on crop issues in Australia, Argentina
    * Lanworth lowers world soybean estimate, raises corn

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Nov 21 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat edged higher on
Thursday, rising for two out of three sessions and gaining
ground after hitting a two-month low early this week, as
potential production shortfalls in Argentina and Australia
underpinned the market.
    Corn was little changed, languishing around its lowest in
three years on pressure from record-large U.S. production.
Soybeans ticked up after closing marginally lower.
    Chicago Board Of Trade December wheat rose 0.2 percent
to $6.48-1/2 a bushel by 0225 GMT, trading near Wednesday's one-and-half week high of $6.54-3/4 a bushel. Wheat futures on Monday hit their lowest since Sept. 17 after U.S. exports come in below expectations. December corn eased a quarter of a cent to $4.16-3/4 a bushel, while January soybeans rose 0.2 percent to $12.75-3/4 a bushel. "Unfavourable crop conditions in Australia could adversely affect the crop quality and lead to a decline in harvests," said Vanessa Tan, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. "There could be a shift of demand to U.S. wheat." Unseasonal rains in Western Australia and frost on the country's east coast have hit wheat crops in the world's No.2 exporter of the grain, dragging down quality and reducing harvests. The Rosario Grains Exchange forecast Argentina's wheat crop at 9.1 million tonnes in its first estimate of the season, well below the 11-million-tonne view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There is additional support for the wheat market with the sale of 110,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat to Egypt. Egyptian government wheat buyer GASC booked a similar volume of Russian wheat a day earlier via a tender in which no SRW
wheat offers were made. Corn continues to face headwinds from all-time-high U.S. supplies. Farmers are in the final stages of harvesting a record large U.S. corn crop and the third-largest U.S. soybean crop. Crop forecaster Lanworth on Wednesday lowered its estimate of world soybean production for the 2013/14 crop year and raised its estimate of world corn production by 5 million tonnes. Lanworth said it expected global soy production of 289 million tonnes, down from its previous estimate of 290 million tonnes. For corn, it pegged the global crop at 963 million tonnes, up from its previous outlook of 958 million. Lanworth left its estimate of the global wheat crop unchanged at 707 million tonnes. Commodity funds sold a net 3,000 CBOT corn contracts on Wednesday, trade sources said. They also sold 2,000 wheat and 2,000 soybean. Grains prices at 0225 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 648.50 1.25 +0.19% +0.97% 671.11 40 CBOT corn 416.75 -0.25 -0.06% +1.15% 431.48 36 CBOT soy 1275.75 2.00 +0.16% -0.91% 1277.16 41 CBOT rice $15.65 -$0.04 -0.22% -1.23% $15.47 48 WTI crude $93.67 -$0.18 -0.19% +0.35% $96.58 41 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.343 -$0.008 -0.58% -0.52% USD/AUD 0.930 -0.008 -0.85% -0.77% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral)

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