GRAINS-Wheat falls 1.4% on improved weather, soybeans ease on demand worries
* Expectations of rains in U.S., Europe add pressure on wheat
* Soybeans down on renewed Washington-Beijing trade tensions (Recasts with wheat, adds quote in Paragraphs 3-4, updates prices)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, May 4 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures slid for a second session on Monday, with forecasts of rains in key U.S. and European growing regions easing concerns over dryness hitting production.
Soybean lost more ground as rising tensions between Washington and Beijing sparked concerns over demand for U.S. supplies in the world's top importer China.
"Weather forecasters are looking for rain to relieve some of the worries about winter wheat crops in the U.S., Europe and around the Black Sea," said Tobin Gorey, director of agriculture strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
"Forecasters, in summary, are looking at the dry areas of these regions to shrink somewhat over the next week or so. The shrunken dry area though is still large enough to worry the wheat market."
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade dropped 1.4% to $5.09-1/2 a bushel, as of 0208 GMT, having lost 1.5% in the last session.
Soybeans fell 0.6% to $8.44-3/4 a bushel and corn shed 0.9% to $3.15-3/4 a bushel.
The soybean market is being weighed down by renewed tensions between the United States and China.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the Phase 1 trade deal with China was now of secondary importance to the coronavirus pandemic, threatening new tariffs on Beijing over the outbreak.
There was additional pressure on soybeans on weak demand for livestock feed, as outbreak of the novel coronavirus in meat-packing plants have shuttered facilities, backing up feedyards and leading to culling of animals.
Analysts predicted active corn planting over the weekend, after an above-average pace reported last week.
Argentine farmers have harvested 68.2% of this season's soy crop, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in a report on Thursday, with most progress over the last week made in northern growing area that escaped recent torrential rains.
The exchange forecasts 49.5 million tonnes of soy to be harvested this year and 50 million tonnes of corn.
Large speculators increased their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to April 28, regulatory data released on Friday showed.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and trimmed their net short position in soybeans. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Aditya Soni and Uttaresh.V)
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