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336012

GRAINS-Wheat rises but set for biggest weekly loss in four months

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Wheat down 5% this week, faces biggest drop since mid-July

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Argentina exchange cuts wheat outlook, rains spell hope for soy

(Adds quote in paragraph 3, updates prices)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures firmed on Friday, but were poised for their biggest weekly drop in four months as expectations of higher world supplies weighed on the market.

Soybeans gained about half a percent, while corn ticked higher.

"U.S. estimates for global supplies were a little bit bearish for wheat," said one Singapore-based trader. "But prices of higher quality wheat have declined marginally and the market is still holding on to much of the recent gains."

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.4% to $8.07 a bushel, as of 0449 GMT, soybeans added 0.8% to $14.34-3/4 a bushel and corn gained 0.4% to $6.56 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in its monthly supply-demand report this week, estimated world wheat stocks at 267.82 million tonnes, up slightly from its October outlook of 267.54 million tonnes. Analysts on average had been expecting a small decline to 266.52 million tones.

Wheat is down around 5% so far this week, heading for its biggest weekly loss since mid-July. Soybeans have lost about 2% this week, on track for their first weekly drop in six, and corn is down 4%, heading for its biggest weekly fall since late July.

The USDA's monthly report estimated that U.S. corn and soybean inventories would be bigger than previously thought, as yields of both crops increased from earlier expectations.

Corn futures have faced pressure as the USDA reported weekly export sales of U.S. corn in the week ended Nov. 3 at 265,300 tonnes, below a range of trade expectations for 300,000 tonnes to 650,000 tonnes.

Argentina's major Buenos Aires grains exchange slashed its wheat harvest forecast on Thursday amid a lengthy drought and frosts that have hit crops, but a forecast of rainfall ahead for key farming regions spelled more positive news for soy.

The exchange cut its 2022/23 wheat production outlook to 12.4 million tonnes from 14 million tonnes previously, hot on the heels of a similar cut by the rival Rosario exchange, which forecasts the weakest crop in seven years.

Soaring wheat prices in India could prompt price-cooling measures such as the release of state reserves into the open market while axing the 40% tax on imports, trade and government sources said on Thursday.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean, wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Thursday, and net buyers of soyoil futures, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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