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335873

GRAINS-Wheat rises on U.S. winter crop concerns; soybeans firm

SINGAPORE, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Tuesday as supply concerns underpinned the market with the condition of the U.S. winter crop remaining at the lowest for this time of year in decades.

Soybeans edged higher, while corn eased as traders adjusted positions ahead of monthly supply-demand reports due mid-week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active wheat contact Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.1% at $8.46-3/4 a bushel, as of 0106 GMT, after closing marginally lower on Monday.

* Soybeans added 0.1% to $14.52 a bushel and corn lost 0.1% to $6.75-1/4 a bushel.

* The USDA on Monday rated 30% of the U.S. winter wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from the previous week, but still the lowest for this time of year in records dating to the late 1980s.

* The U.S. harvest of corn and soybeans is winding down. The USDA said the soybean harvest was 94% complete, matching trade expectations and ahead of the five-year average of 86%. For corn, the harvest was 87% complete, ahead of the average analyst estimate of 86% and the five-year average of 76%.

* Soybeans are facing pressure on concerns about slowing demand from China, the world's top importer, where exports and imports unexpectedly contracted in October as the country struggles with COVID-19 restrictions.

* China's imports of soybeans fell 19% in October to 4.14 million tonnes from a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, hitting their lowest for any month since 2014, after buyers cut purchases amid high global prices and poor crush margins.

* Imports by the world's top buyer of the oilseed were 73.18 million tonnes for the first 10 months of the year, down 7.4% from last year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

* Traders are adjusting positions ahead of the USDA's Nov. 9 supply/demand reports. The average of estimates for the U.S. corn and soybean yield among analysts surveyed by Reuters were unchanged from the USDA's October figures.

* However, some private estimates, including those from StoneX and IHS Markit, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, projected higher corn and soybean yields than the USDA's October estimates.

* Ukraine has exported almost 14.3 million tonnes of grain so far in the 2022/23 season, down 30.7% from the 20.6 million tonnes exported by the same stage of the previous season, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday.

* Grain exports have slumped since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and closed off its neighbour's Black Sea ports, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

* Crop consultancy Strategie Grains expects the area sown with rapeseed in the European Union to expand next season after high prices encouraged farmers to sow more of the oilseed and crops started in good conditions.

* Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, corn, soyoil, wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Monday, traders said.

MARKET NEWS

* Equity markets rose and the dollar slid on Monday as investors embraced the idea that China may ease COVID-19 restrictions and burnished hopes the U.S. economy is slowing enough to allow the Federal Reserve to ease its aggressive hiking of interest rates.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0745 France Reserve Assets Total Oct (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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