GRAINS-Corn stuck at near 3-year low on crop-friendly weather
* Rain forecast for dry areas adds to bumper US corn outlook
* Corn spot prices edge down to lowest since Oct 2010
* Wheat up slightly on export demand, harvest worries
* Soybeans tick up on bargain-hunting after fall
(Writes through with European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, Aug 2 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures slipped to their lowest in nearly three years on Friday as the market stayed under pressure from benign crop weather that is reinforcing expectations for a bumper U.S. harvest this year. Wheat edged higher as strong export demand and worries about harvest snags in several top producing countries helped offset the weakness in corn. Soybeans also rose slightly to recover from weather-driven losses on Thursday. The corn market tried to consolidate after sliding more than 2 percent in the previous session, but the favourable weather outlook eroded a modest earlier rise and pushed prices down slightly. "Corn is coming down as the weather looks very good," said Ole Houe, an analyst at Sydney-based brokerage IKON Commodities. An outlook for rain and cool temperatures is broadly seen as positive for corn, which is going through a critical growth phase. Rain was notably expected during the next few days in Nebraska and western Iowa, the driest parts of the U.S. corn belt, an agricultural meteorologist said. Two private forecasters this week put the 2013 U.S. corn crop above the current outlook of the U.S. government. Commodity brokerage INTL FCStone estimated the 2013 U.S. crop at 13.993 billion bushels, and crop forecaster Lanworth projected 14 billion bushels. Both outlooks exceeded the 13.950 billion bushels seen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chicago Board of Trade September corn fell 0.7 percent to $4.84-1/4 a bushel by 1145 GMT, on course for a third straight weekly drop. It earlier declined to $4.83-3/4, setting a near three-year low for the second straight session. New-crop December was down 0.4 percent at $4.65. Some operators said the tentative consolidation earlier in the session showed the market could bottom out soon. "(Corn) wouldn't have much more downside, maybe 20 to 30 cents more. It is benign (weather) right now but there is still some time to go before the harvest," Houe said. In a sign of Chinese demand for corn, Ukrainian state-run grain firm GPZKU said on Friday it would make a first 120,000-tonne shipment of maize to the Chinese market in October-November. Export demand was providing support for wheat markets and helping offset spillover pressure from corn. Japan bought nearly 90,000 tonnes of U.S. western white wheat in a tender on Thursday, marking the first purchase of the variety by its top buyer after the discovery of a genetically modified version of the grain in Oregon. Weekly U.S. and European Union export data on Thursday showed large volumes for the previous week.
Concerns about wheat quality in the United States, Russia and western Europe also underpinned prices. "Bullish news is starting to filter through to the wheat market," one European trader said. CBOT spot-month wheat gained 0.15 percent to $6.59 a bushel, while November milling wheat in Paris added 0.4 percent at 188.00 euros a tonne. The prospect of higher global supply in wheat and corn was nonetheless acting as a brake on wheat prices. The International Grains Council on Thursday raised its forecast for 2013/14 global wheat production by 4 million tonnes to 687 million. It cut its global corn crop forecast but the revised level would still be a record. In soybeans, new-crop November added 0.3 percent at $11.96 a bushel as it recovered from a three-month low for the contract on Thursday.
* Prices as of 1145 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move End 2012 Ytd Pct CBOT wheat 659.00 1.00 +0.15 778.00 -15.30 CBOT corn 465.00 -2.00 -0.43 698.25 -33.40 CBOT soy 1196.00 3.50 +0.29 1418.75 -15.70 Paris wheat 188.00 0.75 +0.40 250.25 -24.88 Paris maize 218.00 0.25 +0.11 237.75 -8.31 Paris rape 362.00 4.25 +1.19 456.25 -20.66 WTI crude oil 107.62 -0.27 -0.25 91.82 17.21 Euro/dlr 1.32 0.00 +0.05 0.00 0.00 * CBOT futures prices are in cents per bushel, Paris futures in
euros per tonne, WTI crude oil in dollars per barrel.
(Editing by Richard Pullin and Dale Hudson)