(Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds analyst quote, changes byline, dateline; pvs PARIS/SINGAPORE)
CHICAGO, June 1 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat futures and K.C. hard red winter futures dropped to two-week lows on Thursday as forecasts for dry conditions in key growing areas raised the prospect of a quick start to harvest for both crops.
"We have got a little bit drier forecast," said Brian Hoops, an analyst with Midwest Marketing Solutions. "We are anticipating that harvest pressure."
But the dryness lent support to MGEX spring wheat futures, which firmed to a 4-1/2-month high on concerns about crop development in the northern U.S. Plains.
Corn and soybean futures fell amid expectations that recently seeded fields will begin to dry out in the coming days, fostering crop emergence and allowing some growers to replant parts of their fields that were flooded.
"I think the trade is ready to engage the idea that the seed is going to get in the ground," said Bill Gentry, a broker at Risk Management Commodities.
At 11:54 a.m. CDT (1654 GMT), CBOT July soft red winter wheat futures were down 6-1/4 cents at $4.23 a bushel. The contract hit a session low of $4.21-1/4, its weakest since May 18.
K.C. hard red winter wheat for July delivery was off 5-1/2 cents at $4.26-1/4 a bushel. It bottomed out at $4.24-1/4, also the lowest since May 18. MGEX July spring wheat futures were up 2-1/4 cents at $5.74-1/4 a bushel. The front-month MGEX contract peaked at $5.78-3/4, its highest since Jan. 19.
The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor update issued on Thursday showed drought/dry conditions expanding remarkably in North Dakota.
It rated 99.9 percent of the state "abnormally dry," up from 43.6 percent a week earlier. Additionally, 24 percent of the state is in "moderate drought," up from 6 percent a week earlier.
CBOT July corn futures were 3-1/2 cents lower at $3.68-1/2 a bushel, and CBOT July soybeans were down 1 cents at $9.15 a bushel.
Declines in soybeans were limited by worries about a labor-related slowdown in South American export shipments.
"The Argentina port strike is supporting soybeans, the situation is not good for soybean supplies," said Kaname Gokon from Tokyo brokerage Okato Shoji. "We don't expect huge gains though as Brazilian exports are flooding the market."
Private port grains inspectors in Argentina started a 48-hour wage strike on Wednesday, after government health inspectors called a three-day work stoppage a day earlier, also over pay. (Additional reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Joseph Radford, David Evans and W Simon)