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Soybeans face weekly decline on improved Argentina weather

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SINGAPORE — Chicago soybean futures ticked higher on Friday, but the market was set for a weekly loss as forecasts of rains in drought-hit Argentina’s farm belt eased supply concerns.

Wheat firmed, with the market on track to end the week on a positive note as extremely cold weather across the U.S. grain belt threatened to curb winter crop production.

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FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 0.1% to $14.69 a bushel, as of 0108 GMT, wheat rose 0.1% to $7.62-3/4 a bushel and corn lost quarter of a cent to $6.60-1/4 a bushel.

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* For the week, soybeans are down almost 0.7%, while wheat and corn have added more than 1% each.

* Abundant rains will for the first time this cycle bring relief to Argentina’s parched farming heartland in the coming days, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said on Thursday, as a historic drought has prevented many farmers from planting their fields.

* The lack of rainfall in Argentina, the world’s largest exporter of soybean oil and soymeal and the third-largest exporter of corn, is slowing the planting of the current soybean crop and has slashed forecasts for the country’s wheat harvest.

* China is expected to end the year with historically low soymeal carryover stocks, which should increase dependence on imported soybeans in 2023, Victor Martins, senior risk manager at HedgePoint Global Markets, said Thursday.

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* Brazilian soybeans, which are processed in China to make livestock feed, are currently more attractive than U.S. soybeans for February shipments, Martins said in an interview.

* The wheat market is watching forecasts for temperatures well below freezing across the U.S. Plains in the coming days, which may threaten winter crops not insulated by snow cover.

* Corn and soybeans export sales dipped to the low end of trade estimates during the week ended Dec. 15.

* U.S. exporters sold 876,000 tonnes of soybeans last week, compared to trade expectations of 800,000 tonnes to 1.4 million tonnes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

* Corn export sales totalled 636,800 tonnes, near the low end of trade forecasts ranging from 625,000 to 950,000 tonnes.

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* Exporters sold 334,200 tonnes of wheat, in line with analysts’ forecasts of 200,000 to 550,000 tonnes.

* Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybeans, wheat, meal, corn and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said.

MARKET NEWS

* U.S. stocks tanked and the dollar eked out a small gain on Thursday as solid economic data fueled worries that the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy will hover at restrictive levels for longer than many market participants may have hoped.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0745 France Producer Prices YY Nov 1330 US Consumption, Adjusted MM Nov 1330 US Durable Goods Nov 1500 US U Mich Sentiment Final Dec 1500 US New Homes Sales-Units Nov (Reporting by Naveen Thukral)

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