GRAINS-Corn slips to fresh low as crop-friendly weather persists
* Corn sets new low in nearly three years
* Rain, mild weather fuel expectations of big harvest
* Wheat steady on global demand, widens spread with corn
* Soy pressured like corn by favourable growing weather
(Updates with European trading, changes dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Chicago corn prices lost more ground on Monday to set new lows since late 2010, as crop-friendly weather across the U.S. Midwest buttressed expectations of a bumper corn harvest. The favourable growing conditions also continued to weigh on soybeans, which slipped after an earlier rebound stalled, but wheat was steady as brisk global demand helped shake off spillover pressure from corn. "U.S. weather has been quite favourable for corn production," said Vyanne Lai, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. "We are seeing support for wheat as Japanese have resumed imports of U.S. white wheat and export demand from China has been strong." Rain was expected going into the weekend in the central U.S. Midwest while mild temperatures were expected to offer relief for crops in the driest parts of the Midwest. Two private forecasters, FCStone and Lanworth, last week put the 2013 U.S. corn crop above the current outlook of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Chicago Board of Trade new-crop December corn fell 0.5 percent to $4.61-1/4 a bushel by 1124 GMT. It earlier touched $4.61, a level last seen on the contract in November 2010. September corn slipped 1.1 percent to $4.70-3/4 a bushel. It earlier hit a contract low of $4.70-1/2, also a lowest front-month price since early October 2010. November soybeans eased 0.1 percent to $11.80-1/4 a bushel as it traded close to Friday's near 14-month low for the contract at $11.76-1/4. Benign growing weather for U.S. corn and soybeans is for now eclipsing potential risk from autumn frost given late planting this year, as well as sweltering temperatures for corn in parts of China. "We continue to have a negative view on corn and soybeans, seeing further downside as more weather premium is removed," Deutsche Bank said in a market note on Monday. "However, adverse weather conditions in various parts of China merit watching for signs of further import demand." A weekly USDA crop progress report due later on Monday will give traders a fresh indication about harvest prospects.
Large speculators increased their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to July 30, regulatory data released on Friday showed. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, cut their net long position in soybeans and trimmed their net short position in CBOT wheat. CBOT spot-month wheat was flat on the day at $6.60-1/2, after giving up a small earlier rise, as it continued to outperform corn on the back of strong export demand. 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. China and Brazil have also bought large volumes of U.S. wheat in recent weeks, cushioning supply pressure from what is expected to be a bigger northern hemisphere wheat harvest this year.
* Prices as of 1124 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move CBOT wheat 660.50 0.00 +0.00 CBOT corn 461.25 -2.50 -0.54 CBOT soy 1180.25 -1.25 -0.11 Paris wheat 185.50 -1.00 -0.54 Paris maize 189.00 -14.50 -7.13 Paris rape 360.50 -2.50 -0.69 WTI crude oil 106.05 -0.89 -0.83 Euro/dlr 1.33 -0.16 * CBOT futures prices are in cents per bushel, Paris futures in
euros per tonne, WTI crude oil in dollars per barrel.
(Editing by James Jukwey)