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GRAINS-Corn at new 3-year low on swelling supply

Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral
Thursday, 7 Nov 2013 | 7:55 AM ET

* Corn hits lowest since August 2010, then steadies

* FAO, Lanworth raise global supply outlook

* Market braces for USDA crop report, exports also eyed

PARIS/SINGAPORE, Nov 7 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures hit a fresh three-year low on Thursday as forecasters raised estimates of global grain output, reinforcing expectations that a U.S. government crop report will herald a spectacular rebound in corn supply. Corn later steadied, however, as investors were reluctant to make big moves ahead of Friday's supply-and-demand estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. U.S. soybeans rose for a second consecutive session on expectations of slight harvest delays, while wheat edged higher. Chicago Board of Trade front-month corn was up 0.2 percent at $4.22-1/4 at 1232 GMT after earlier edging down to $4.20-1/4 a bushel, its lowest since August 2010. "We are continuing to see harvest pressure on corn, and there are estimates of an even bigger crop," said Vanessa Tan, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. The United Nations food agency on Thursday raised its outlook for global cereals production by 10 million tonnes to 2.498 billion in 2013/14. It added 5 million tonnes to its 2013/14 world cereals ending stocks forecast, putting stocks 13 percent above year-earlier levels. Also crop forecaster Lanworth raised its outlook for global corn and soybean production on Wednesday due to better-than-expected yield reports from elevators in major growing areas of the United States. The USDA will release its November crop production and supply/demand reports on Friday at 1700 GMT. Analysts expect it to raise the 2013 U.S. corn harvest estimate to a new record and to show a tripling of U.S. ending stocks. The November report has taken on extra significance for grain markets after the USDA cancelled its October estimates due to a government shutdown. But with an upward revision to corn supply have been widely anticipated, there is scope for prices to recover from current levels, some analysts said. "Funds' short positions make us think that a short-covering rally could start at any moment if there are no surprises in the USDA's report," French consultancy Agritel said in a note. Large speculators increased their net short position in Chicago Board of Trade corn futures in the week to Oct. 29, regulatory data released on Wednesday showed. Grain markets will also be looking at weekly export sales data due at 1330 GMT. Hefty sales of corn and soybeans in the past month, as importers have taken advantage of falling U.S. prices, have lent some support to the market. But a move by China to allow Brazilian corn imports after approving shipments from Argentina and Ukraine this year will intensify competition in the amply supplied corn market.

Rain in the U.S. Midwest at midweek was slowing harvesting of the corn and soybean crops, offering some support to prices. But drier weather from Thursday through early next week will allow harvesting to resume, an agricultural meteorologist said. Spot-month wheat rose 0.4 percent to $6.56 a bushel, while November soybeans gained 0.2 percent to $12.66.

* Prices as of 1232 GMT

Product Last Change Pct Move CBOT wheat 656.00 2.75 +0.42 CBOT corn 422.25 1.00 +0.24 CBOT soy 1266.00 3.00 +0.24 Paris wheat 201.75 -0.25 -0.12 Paris maize 172.75 1.25 +0.73 Paris rape 373.50 -1.00 -0.27 WTI crude oil 95.06 0.26 +0.27 Euro/dlr 1.35 -0.04

* CBOT futures prices are in cents per bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne, WTI crude oil in dollars per barrel.