GRAINS-Soybeans set for biggest weekly gain in 2 months on strong demand
Adds quote in paragraphs 3-4, details and updates prices
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, June 10 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures were poised for their biggest weekly jump in two months, despite a dip in prices on Friday, as robust demand and delayed U.S. planting underpinned the tight supply situation.
Wheat gained ground and the market was in track for its first weekly gain in almost a month on the back of tightening global supplies.
"The U.S. continues to see strong export sales of soybeans, bolstering old crop prices," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
"Slow U.S. soybean planting and the resulting forward shunt of crop development continue as worries for new crop prices."
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Sv1 has added more than 4% this week, the biggest rise since early April. Prices were trading flat at $17.68 a bushel, as of 0404 GMT.
Wheat Wv1 is set to finish the week 3.5% higher while corn Cv1 has gained 6.2% so far this week.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said weekly old-crop soybean export sales totalled 429,900 tonnes, up 41% from the average of the prior four weeks.
China imported 20% more soybeans in May than in April, as some delayed cargoes arrived, customs data showed on Thursday. nL1N2XW05O
China, the world's top soybean importer, brought in 9.67 million tonnes of the oilseed in May, up from 8.08 million tonnes in April, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Concerns about hot and dry weather stressing the U.S. Midwest crop during its early stages of development added support to corn.
Investors in the agricultural markets are adjusting positions ahead of the USDA's monthly world crop forecasts due later on Friday. USDA/EST
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Thursday lowered its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season for a third month in a row, saying high prices due to the war in Ukraine had curbed international demand. nL1N2XW0L9
French soft wheat exports to non-EU destinations in the 2021/22 season that ends on June 30 are now expected at 9.1 million tonnes, down from 9.25 million projected in May, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal supply and demand update.
Argentina's 2022/23 wheat crop will likely come in at 18.5 million tonnes, down from 19 million tonnes previously estimated, the Rosario grains exchange said on Thursday, citing reduced planting by farmers due to dry weather. nL1N2XW0YL
The exchange cut its forecast for the planting area of the crop to 6.2 million hectares, the lowest in 12 years. That was down from a previous estimate of 6.35 million hectares.
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, corn and soymeal futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of wheat and soyoil futures, traders said. COMFUND/CBT
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)