GRAINS-Corn slumps on harvest pressure, soybeans rebound
* Corn hits 3-week low, soybeans bounce after 2-week low
* Yield concerns lift soybeans despite some rain in forecast
* Harvest pressure weighs on corn amid reports of big yields
(Recasts with soybeans turning higher, adds quotes, updates prices) CHICAGO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures fell for a third consecutive session and hit a three-week low on Thursday as harvest of what looked like a record-large U.S. crop accelerated amid scattered reports of stronger-than-anticipated yields. Soybeans touched a two-week low on spillover pressure from corn, but prices rebounded as a slightly rainier Midwest weather forecast failed to soothe concerns about diminished yield prospects following an abnormally dry August. "The threat of new-crop production not meeting demand is legitimate and the trade is running up the bids and putting some premium back in the market," said Karl Setzer, grain solutions team leader at MaxYield Cooperative. Many areas of the western Midwest have received only minimal precipitation in recent weeks and updated data from the National Drought Mitigation Center showed drought expanding in key production areas such as Iowa and Minnesota. The impact on corn production was limited as much of the crop was nearing maturity, but soybeans, which are in dire need of moisture to fill pods, may lose production potential. Midwest rainfall was expected to be spotty until the weekend, followed by scattered showers in the central and northwestern Midwest, said Commodity Weather Group meteorologist Joel Widenor. "Relief to the most notable dry areas in Iowa and Illinois should remain limited, but the Dakotas and central Minnesota will see some improvement," he said. There is a better chance for light rains next week, but still about 40 percent of the Midwest soybean areas remain dry. Weekly government drought data showed expanding dryness mostly in the eastern Midwest. Nearly two-thirds of Iowa, the top corn and soybean state, was experiencing moderate drought or worse as of Tuesday, versus less than a fifth a month earlier. Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans were up 7 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $13.59-1/2 a bushel by 12:15 p.m. CDT (1715 GMT) after earlier sinking to $13.35, the lowest since Aug. 23. Lightly traded September gained 17-1/4 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $14.15 a bushel. Analysts have been reducing their soy production projections following hot, dry weather in August, the most critical month for the oilseed. Commodity brokerage INTL FCStone late on Wednesday pegged the average U.S. soybean yield at 41.2 bushels per acre and a Reuters poll of 21 analysts found an average yield view of 41.095 bpa. "Basically, anything under 42 and we're going to have to ration," Setzer said. Corn continued its downward slide as reports circulated of well-above-average yields from early harvested fields. CBOT December corn fell 8-1/2 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $4.61 per bushel, the lowest for the contract since Aug 16. The contract has shed nearly 5 percent in three days of losses. Wheat futures followed corn lower, pressured also by sluggish export demand and abundant global supplies. CBOT December wheat fell 5-1/2 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $6.40-3/4 a bushel, just above the contract low of $6.35-1/2 posted three weeks ago. It was the contract's seventh straight daily decline.
Prices at 12:19 p.m. CDT (1719 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 486.00 -8.00 -1.6% -30.4% CBOT soy 1415.00 17.25 1.2% -0.3% CBOT meal 475.00 6.40 1.4% 12.9% CBOT soyoil 43.23 -0.33 -0.8% -12.1% CBOT wheat 628.00 -6.25 -1.0% -19.3% CBOT rice 1566.00 -2.50 -0.2% 5.4% EU wheat 187.25 -0.50 -0.3% -25.2% US crude 107.99 0.76 0.7% 17.6% Dow Jones 14,942 11 0.1% 14.0% Gold 1371.86 -18.98 -1.4% -18.1% Euro/dollar 1.3118 -0.0089 -0.7% -0.6% Dollar Index 82.6210 0.4520 0.6% 3.6% Baltic Freight 1279 64 5.3% 83.0%
(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris, Colin Packham in Sydney and Sam Nelson in Chicago; Editing by Grant McCool and Peter Galloway)