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GRAINS-Wheat firms after falling for four days, improved U.S. weather caps gains

* Wheat rises for 1st time in 5 sessions, recovers from
10-day low
* Improved weather seen boosting U.S. drought-hit winter
crop

(Adds details, quotes)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, April 17 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures edged
higher on Tuesday, recouping some of the losses suffered in the
last four sessions although the gains were limited after the
U.S. Department of Agriculture said the condition of the winter
crop was improving.
Soybeans ticked up after finishing lower on Monday on
profit-taking and technical selling after the market climbed to
its highest in more than a month on Friday.
The Chicago Board Of Trade most-active wheat contract
rose 0.3 percent to $4.63-1/2 a bushel by 0245 GMT. The market
dropped about 2 percent in the previous session when prices hit
a low of $4.61-1/2 a bushel, the lowest since April 6.
Soybeans were up 0.1 percent to $10.43 a bushel and
corn added 0.1 percent to $3.82-3/4 a bushel.
"Some of those weather concerns for U.S. winter wheat have
been washed away with winter storms," said Phin Ziebell,
agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.
"U.S. winter wheat crop condition is expected to improve."
The USDA said 31 percent of the wheat crop in the United
States was in good to excellent condition, surpassing market
expectations.
"Better weather on the way for a heavily damaged U.S. winter
wheat crop now transitioning from boot to heading stage,"
Thomson Reuters Agriculture Research analysts said, referring to
the growth stages for winter wheat as it emerges from its
dormant state.
Winter wheat has endured drought followed by late frost, and
the cold start to spring has also raised question marks about
whether farmers will plant extra spring wheat as projected by
the U.S. government.
Planting of U.S. spring wheat was 3 percent complete, the
USDA said, behind market forecasts.
The USDA said 3 percent of the corn crop was planted as of
Sunday, also lagging market expectations.
U.S. oilseed processors crushed a record volume of soybeans
in March while soyoil stocks rose for a fifth straight month and
hit a 21-month high, the National Oilseed Processors Association
(NOPA) said on Monday.
Drought-hit soybean production in Argentina is expected to
keep a floor under the oilseed market, but strong yield
prospects in Paraguay and Brazil were limiting price support.
Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean,
wheat, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Monday, traders
said.

Grains prices at 0245 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI
CBOT wheat 463.50 1.25 +0.27% -3.64% 472.37 41
CBOT corn 382.75 0.25 +0.07% -1.54% 384.47 43
CBOT soy 1043.00 1.00 +0.10% -1.67% 1041.19 50
CBOT rice 13.00 -$0.06 -0.46% +0.85% $12.49 71
WTI crude 66.56 $0.34 +0.51% -1.23% $63.73 62
Currencies
Euro/dlr $1.238 $0.005 +0.40% +0.43%
USD/AUD 0.7770 0.000 +0.05% +0.21%
Most active contracts
Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
hundredweight
RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Christian
Schmollinger)

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