GRAINS-Wheat up on Chinese purchases; corn and soy also firm
* U.S. wheat up for 2nd day; corn, soy firm
* China's purchase of Aussie wheat, maybe more, buoys wheat
* Surging oil prices support corn, soybean
* Expectations of record output keeps lid on prices
(Recasts with details, quotes) PARIS/SINGAPORE, July 3 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose on Wednesday, up from a more than one-year low two days before, as China stepped up imports after untimely rains damaged its domestic crop. U.S. corn rose for a second session as bargain hunting and strong oil prices led to a rebound from its lowest level in two-and-half years earlier this week on expectations of record production. New-crop soybeans rose after four sessions of declines. Oil prices surged on a sharp decline in crude stockpiles in top consumer the United States and political unrest in Egypt, which could destabilise the Middle East and lead to supply disruptions. Front-month wheat on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 1.85 percent to $6.61-1/2 a bushel by 1124 GMT. December corn rose 0.99 percent to $5.07-3/4 a bushel, after dropping to its lowest since January 2011 on Tuesday, while November soybeans gained 1.31 percent to $12.58-3/4 a bushel. Trading was thin ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Thursday. China, typically the world's largest producer and second-biggest consumer of wheat, has bought 300,000 tonnes of new-crop Australian low-protein wheat in recent deals for shipment in January, and more deals are likely, traders said. "This is the confirmation that the Chinese (wheat) purchases are bigger than what was expected," a European trader said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that China will import 3.5 million tonnes of wheat in the year to June 2014. China also has been aggressively buying U.S. wheat, taking around 1.5 million tonnes in the last three months, according to the USDA data. That is a rise of almost 10 percent from the same period a year ago. It also made a rare purchase of about 200,000 tonnes of wheat from France, traders said.
China also recently booked another three cargoes of U.S. corn, bringing total purchases of new-crop U.S. corn to 2.8 million tonnes so far, an official think-tank said. "We have seen a bit of improved tone come through pricing after bearishness over the past few days. It is just positioning by traders," said Luke Mathews, a commodities strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "We are still looking at a scenario of very large crops in 2013/14, and that is likely to replenish the tight old crop situation." U.S. corn and soybean crops have improved in the past week, aided by warmer weather, although heavy storms damaged crops in parts of the northern Midwest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state reports said.
Prices at 1124 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move End 2010 Ytd Pct CBOT wheat 661.50 12.00 +1.85 794.25 -16.71 CBOT corn 507.75 5.00 +0.99 629.00 -19.28 CBOT soybeans 1258.75 16.25 +1.31 1393.75 -9.69 Paris wheat 196.50 3.25 +1.68 252.20 -22.09 Paris maize 221.00 1.00 +0.45 235.00 -5.96 Paris rapeseed 396.50 1.00 +0.25 497.25 -20.26 Crude oil 101.19 1.59 +1.60 91.38 10.74 Euro/dlr 1.30 -0.11 * CBOT contracts in cents per bushel except rice which is in
dollars per hundredweight. Paris grains in euros a tonne
(Additional reporting by Valerie Parent; Editing by Jane Baird)