GRAINS-Corn ticks up after sell-off, wheat firms
* Corn rises after 6 straight sessions of declines
* Wheat firm on quality woes, strong Chinese demand
* China buys more than 1.5 mln tonnes Australian wheat
(Updates prices, adds comment) HAMBURG/SINGAPORE, July 30 (Reuters) - U.S. corn rose on Tuesday as buying interest picked up after prices reached their lowest in almost three years in a six-day sell-off, while wheat extended gains on concerns over U.S. crop quality and strong demand from top consumer China. Chicago Board of Trade new crop December corn gained 0.8 percent to $4.77-1/4 a bushel by 1002 GMT after hitting its lowest level since October 2010 on Monday. Chicago November soybeans rose 0.1 percent to $12.22-3/4 a bushel. CBOT September wheat rose 0.5 percent to $6.55-1/2 a bushel. "There seems to be some buying interest today as lower prices are shaking out some importer interest, with Korea in the market for corn, Taiwan buying wheat and both Egypt and Jordan tendering for wheat," one European trader said.
But the background sentiment remained bearish as U.S. weather was forecast to be favourable to crops in coming weeks, boosting prospects for corn and soybean production and easing three years of tight supplies. "We expect corn prices to remain under pressure as the crop condition is stable and the weather looks good," Joyce Liu, an analyst at Phillip Futures, said.
CHINA BUYS AUSTRALIA WHEAT The wheat market had come under pressure in recent days, tracking losses in corn and soybean futures, but concerns over quality and strong demand were providing support. "U.S. wheat quality is becoming a concern," Liu said. "It could support prices as demand remains strong." U.S. flour millers are reporting quality problems in the soft red winter wheat due to heavy rain, which soaked much of the Midwest crop in early July.
Sprouted wheat, when ripe wheat kernels begin to germinate in the field, is the worst in some areas in more than 20 years, grain handlers said. Sprouted wheat can produce poor quality flour, and farmers often receive lower prices for it than for better quality wheat. China, which has been snapping up wheat cargoes from Australia and the United States, has bought more than 1.5 million tonnes of Australian wheat in the past six weeks, a Chinese official think-tank said on Tuesday.
China's imports of wheat are rising after frost and wet weather damaged the domestic crop, leaving an estimated 16 percent unfit for human consumption.
* Prices at 1002 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move End 2012 Ytd Pct Paris wheat 187.50 0.75 +0.40 195.25 -3.97 Paris maize 169.25 1.00 +0.59 197.25 -14.20 Paris rape 348.50 2.00 +0.58 421.50 -17.32 CBOT wheat 655.25 3.75 +0.58 671.25 -2.38 CBOT corn 477.50 4.25 +0.90 654.75 -27.07 CBOT soybeans 1278.25 6.25 +0.49 1207.75 5.84 Crude oil 103.91 -0.64 -0.61 98.83 5.14 Euro/dlr 1.3264 * 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 Jane Baird)