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GRAINS-Soybeans set for second weekly loss on Argentine rains

* Soybeans face pressure after parched Argentina land gets rain

* Broad-based decline in commodity markets add pressure on prices (Adds quote in paragraph 4, updates prices and details)

SINGAPORE, March 19 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures were on track for their second weekly decline on Friday, as improved crop weather in South America and expectations for a large increase in U.S. planting this spring weighed on the market.

Agricultural markets are facing additional pressure from a broad-based decline in global commodity markets, including crude oil.

Asian share markets eased on Friday as a spike in global bond yields soured sentiment towards richly priced tech stocks, while a stampede out of crowded positions in crude oil caused the sharpest setback in months.

“A bearish tone descended across commodity markets as investors continue to readjust their expectations of demand,” ANZ said in a note. “Agriculture was also lower, with soybeans and palm oil down sharply.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) has lost 1.5% this week. The market was trading unmoved at $13.92-1/4 a bushel by 0151 GMT, after losing 1.8% in the previous session.

For the week, corn advanced 1.5%, while wheat lost 1.5%.

Rains in Argentina’s drought-hit regions are weighing on prices.

However, the country’s main farm area will receive little rain for the rest of this month, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, after significant rainfall in recent days slowed the loss of crops caused by months of unusually hot, dry weather.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed U.S. corn sales to China totalling nearly 3.1 million tonnes over the past three days, along with weekly sales of 1.23 million tonnes in the week ended March 11, topping trade expectations.

Grain market is monitoring news from a meeting between high-level U.S. and Chinese officials on Thursday.

China’s agriculture ministry has launched a campaign to lower the content of corn and soymeal in animal feed, according to a document issued this week, which could have repercussions for the global grain trade.

The document, sent to animal feed producers and other government departments, outlines a plan for nutrition experts to draw up guidelines by the end of this month on ways corn and soymeal could be replaced by alternative grains, three industry sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday lowered its monthly forecast of soft wheat exports from the European Union and Britain in the 2020/21 season by 900,000 tonnes to 25.2 million to take account of a drop in demand, notably from China.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said. Net fund selling estimates for corn ranged from 20,000 contracts to 50,000 contracts, they said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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