GRAINS-U.S. soy, corn prices rise as commodities advance
* Soybeans gain more ground on strong export sales
* Improved risk appetite buoys grains, oilseeds
* Melting snow in U.S. Plains keeps pressure on wheat prices
(Adds quotes, updates prices)
LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans and corn prices rose on Tuesday, buoyed by broad-based gains in commodity markets and strong export demand which has tightened old crop supplies.
Wheat was flat to slightly higher with gains capped by an improving outlook for crops in the U.S. Plains.
"There has been an improved tone in the wider financial markets, crude oil is up and the U.S. dollar is a bit weaker," said Luke Mathews, commodities strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
"Wheat is going to remain under pressure as forecasts of improved weather in the United States filter through."
European shares jumped, oil rose and gold snapped a four-day losing streak on Tuesday as investors bet major central banks would keep monetary policy loose.
Chicago Board of Trade May soybeans rose 0.4 percent to $14.68 a bushel by 1133 GMT after touching $14.69, the highest level for the contract since Feb 22.
Dealers said soybeans and corn were both supported by export demand, which was further tightening U.S. old-crop supplies.
"The demand side of the oilseed complex remains very strong and there are wider expectations that the USDA is going to further trim its ending stock estimate for the old-crop," said Mathews.
Weekly inspections of soybeans for export were 40.3 million bushels last week, topping analyst expectations for 30 million to 35 million.
Weekly corn export inspections of 15.7 million exceeded estimates of 8 million to 13 million, while wheat inspections of 24 million were within estimates of 23 million to 28 million.
Still, record production in Brazil is expected to replenish global oilseed supplies.
Brazilian forecaster Agroconsult has raised its forecast for record soy and corn crops, analyst Marcos Rubin said on Monday, citing favourable climate in the southern producing regions.
Brazil will likely harvest 84.2 million tonnes of soybeans, he said, up from the firm's 84 million tonnes forecast in January. The corn crop forecast was raised to 75 million tonnes, compared with 74.7 million tonnes previously, he said.
CBOT March corn was up 0.6 percent at $7.27-1/4 a bushel.
Wheat prices were mostly higher although the market remained within striking distance of an eight-month low set on Monday as melting snow across the U.S. Plains provided soil moisture to the drought-stricken winter crop, boosting supply prospects.
"More rain is expected to come down to the wheat Plains in the following days. This will help to reassure operators regarding the prospects for the upcoming harvest in the United States," French analyst Agritel said in a market note.
Spot-month March wheat was unchanged at $6.96 a bushel, but it was not far from Monday's eight-month low of $6.91 a bushel.
Winter wheat conditions improved across much of the U.S. Plains following heavy snow that provided a much needed boost to soil moisture in areas that have been suffering from drought.
Dry weather linked to the worst U.S. drought in more than half a century has stressed hard red winter wheat since the crop was planted last fall and raised concerns about corn planting this spring.
May milling wheat futures in Paris rose 2.25 euros or 1.0 percent to 237.00 euros a tonne.
There was additional pressure on the wheat market from a forecast of higher production in Australia, the world's second-largest exporter.
Australia on Tuesday forecast wheat production in the 2013/14 marketing year would rise 13 percent from the previous year, boosted by increased planting and higher yields from better growing conditions.
Wheat production is expected to be 24.9 million tonnes, up from 22.077 million tonnes produced in the 2012/13 season, the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said.
(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Alison Birrane)