GRAINS-Soybean, corn futures rise on Argentina drought fears
* Soybean, corn futures up on South American weather worry
* Dry weather in Argentina, rain in Brazil among concerns
* Wheat up as U.S. Plains drought persists in damaging crop
(Adds wheat and corn futures strength) HAMBURG/SINGAPORE, Jan 30 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose for a fourth straight session on Wednesday with prices underpinned by drought fears in top exporter Argentina and concerns that rain will delay Brazil's crop. Wheat futures rose in the European session on worries that drought will hurt crops in the U.S. Plains and corn futures gained for the third consecutive session, also on fears of drought in Argentina. "Wheat is being supported today by weather concerns in the U.S. while soybeans and corn are supported by worry about the weather in South America," said Rabobank analyst Erin FitzPatrick. "There is a lull in the number of new reports assessing global market fundamentals but we are still facing the scenario of tight old crop supplies in the U.S. at a time the weather outlook for the new crop has deteriorated." Chicago Board of Trade March soybeans rose 1.5 percent to $14.73-3/4 a bushel by 1142 GMT, while March wheat rose 0.7 percent to $7.82-3/4 a bushel. March corn rose 1.2 percent to $7.38-1/4 a bushel. Argentina, the world's No. 3 exporter of soybeans and corn after the United States and Brazil, is expected to have record harvests of both crops this season. But crop forecasts depend on February being a lot wetter than January. "The outlook for Argentina is still pretty dry and the market is getting concerned as supplies of grains and oilseeds are pretty tight," said Victor Thianpiriya, an agricultural strategist at ANZ. "If we get continuation of drought in the U.S. Plains it is going to be the next potential catalyst for rally in prices," he said. The global soybean market is counting on huge South American soybean crops in early 2013 to relieve tight world supplies after a drought in the United States in 2012. German analysts Oil World on Tuesday warned delays or weather damage to harvests in Brazil and Argentina could push soybean futures up sharply in coming weeks. "Much of the Argentine soybean and corn crops are still ahead of their critical growing phase and unfavourably dry weather is certainly lending support to soybean and corn prices," FitzPatrick said. "Soybeans are also supported as there is too much rain in Brazil's early soybean harvesting areas in Mato Grosso. This is starting to delay the Brazilian soybean harvest and in turn is starting to raise concern about whether Brazil will face problems in handling the logistics challenge of transporting its expected record soybean crop to ports and shipping it out in a timely way." Brazil is forecast to overtake the United States as the world's largest exporter and producer of soybeans this season, with a 30 percent increase in its soybean crop. But the country has added no new capacity to its ports, and port congestion could delay shipments urgently needed by importing countries. Excessive rain in some parts of northern Brazil are a concern, although the nation is still on track for a record soybean harvest. "Every year it's the same story during the harvest season," Commerzbank said in a note. "Brazil finds itself confronted with insufficient loading capacities in its ports and cargo ships queuing bumper-to-bumper." For wheat, the drought in the U.S. Plains continues to fuel worries about global supplies this year. Winter wheat conditions across the U.S. Plains worsened in January as the drought in that major production region showed no signs of ending, according to reports by the U.S. Agriculture Department's National Agricultural Statistics Service. In Kansas, the top winter wheat-production state in the country, the crop was rated 20 percent good to excellent as of Jan. 27, down 4 percentage points from the end of December.
* Prices at 1142 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move End 2011 Ytd PctParis wheat 243.75 -0.75 -0.31 195.25 24.84 London wheat 214.50 -1.50 -0.69 153.65 39.60 Paris maize 238.25 0.00 +0.00 197.25 20.79 Paris rape 479.00 0.50 +0.10 421.50 13.64 CBOT wheat 780.75 3.75 +0.48 671.25 16.31 CBOT corn 737.50 7.50 +1.03 654.75 12.64 CBOT soybeans 1460.00 20.25 +1.41 1207.75 20.89 Crude oil 97.89 0.32 +0.33 98.83 -0.95 Euro/dlr 1.3548 * All grain and oilseed prices for second position. Paris futures prices in
Euros per tonne, London wheat in pounds per tonne and CBOT in cents per bushel.
(Editing by Louise Ireland)