GRAINS-Corn retreats to near 3-year low; wheat snaps win streak
* Crop-friendly weather spurs downturn in U.S. ag markets
* Corn at lowest level since October 2010, weighs down wheat
* Soybeans drop as harvest prospects rise
(Updates with U.S. trading, adds analyst quote, changes byline, dateline, pvs LONDON) CHICAGO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures fell 2.3 percent to their lowest level in nearly three years as yield-boosting weather across the U.S. Midwest raised already-high expectations about a bumper harvest this fall. The weather outlook, which includes some rain for the driest areas of the region such as western Iowa and eastern Nebraska, also weighed on soybean futures. Wheat was pulled lower by the drop in corn prices. "Cooler than normal temperatures are helping areas that are short of moisture avoid stress and most of the Corn Belt is forecast to receive rain over the coming week to 10 days," Sterling Smith, futures specialist at Citi Futures, said in a note to clients. "It appears new lows (in prices) are likely." At 10:34 a.m. CDT (1534 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade July corn futures were down 11-1/2 cents at $4.87-1/2 a bushel. The front-month contract bottomed out at $4.86-1/2, its lowest level since hitting $4.64-3/4 on Oct. 5, 2010. New-crop CBOT corn for December delivery dropped 13-3/4 cents to $4.65-1/4. In addition to the storms, which were expected to bring between 0.5 to 1.5 inches of rain during the next three days to much of eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa, temperatures were forecast to remain cooler than usual across the Corn Belt, reducing stress on the corn as it finishes pollination. The weather also was seen as beneficial to soybeans but the cool temperatures will slow development of both crops, said Andy Karst, meteorologist at World Weather Inc. The slow development could leave them vulnerable to damage from an early frost this fall, although the market was discounting that possibility. New-crop November soybeans at the Chicago Board of Trade were down 10 cents at $11.96-1/4 a bushel, the lowest for the contract in more than three months. The expiring August contract was up 1 cent in light volume trade. There have been no deliveries against the August, which was key to the strength. CBOT September soft red winter wheat was 11-1/2 cents lower at $6.52-3/4 a bushel, snapping a string of four straight positive sessions. The 1.7 percent decline in wheat was the biggest in nearly five weeks and wiped out most of the gains made during the recent winning streak. Prices at 10:38 a.m. CDT (1538 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 489.00 -10.00 -2.0% -30.0% CBOT soy 1375.00 1.00 0.1% -3.1% CBOT meal 431.10 -4.00 -0.9% 2.5% CBOT soyoil 42.34 0.25 0.6% -13.9% CBOT wheat 652.75 -11.50 -1.7% -16.1% CBOT rice 1579.50 -3.00 -0.2% 6.3% EU wheat 187.75 -2.00 -1.1% -25.0% US crude 107.49 2.47 2.3% 17.1% Dow Jones 15,627 128 0.8% 19.3% Gold 1313.86 -8.63 -0.7% -21.5% Euro/dollar 1.3225 -0.0075 -0.6% 0.2% Dollar Index 82.2160 0.7640 0.9% 3.1% Baltic Freight 1066 4 0.4% 52.5%
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel, rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb.
(Editing by Peter Galloway)