GRAINS-Wheat slides, on track for weekly decline; corn, soy also lower
(Recasts; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes dateline from previous PARIS/SYDNEY)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell about 1.5% on Friday and were heading for a weekly loss as expectations for bumper wheat harvests in Australia and Canada tempered talk of tightening global supplies.
Corn and soybean futures declined on forecasts for beneficial rains in northern and central Brazil, although worries about dry conditions in Argentina and far southern Brazil underpinned both markets.
As of 1:13 p.m. CST (1913 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade March wheat was down 8-1/2 cents at $5.76 per bushel. CBOT March corn was down 6-1/4 cents at $4.20-1/4 a bushel and January soybeans were down 5 cents at $11.63-1/4 a bushel.
Wheat futures sagged as traders continued to digest rising production estimates for Canada and Australia, two large global wheat suppliers.
Strong export competition from Black Sea suppliers, particularly Russia, the world's top wheat exporter, also hung over the market, along with improving ratings for the U.S. winter wheat crop.
"Everything kind of stacked up against the wheat this week," said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis.
For the week, CBOT March wheat was on track to fall 4.7%, its biggest decline in five weeks.
Corn futures eased Friday on long liquidation and generally improving South American weather.
Rumors have swirled in recent weeks of fresh of Chinese export demand for U.S. corn, but the only recent corn sales confirmed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's daily reporting system have been to Mexico or unknown destinations.
Soybeans ticked lower on improving Brazilian crop prospects, but CBOT soyoil futures climbed for a second session, following as Malaysian palm oil futures surged on expectations of tightening palm oil stocks.
Dry conditions in Brazil have stoked fears that a disappointing soybean harvest would strain international supply after China already swept up much of the new U.S. harvest. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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