GRAINS-CBOT wheat drifts lower, corn and soybeans near unchanged

(New throughout; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON) CHICAGO, June 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat futures fell on Monday on seasonal pressure from the start of the U.S. winter wheat harvest, analysts said, while corn and soybean futures were little changed. Spring wheat futures on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) continued to climb, supported by dry conditions in the northern U.S. Plains. As of 12:44 p.m. CDT (1744 GMT), CBOT July wheat was down 1-1/4 cents at $4.28-1/4 per bushel while MGEX July spring wheat was up 4 cents at $5.87-3/4. CBOT July corn was down 1/2 cent at $3.72-1/4 a bushel while July soybeans were up 3/4 cent at $9.22 a bushel. "Seasonal selling pressure continues to weigh on wheat prices," INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman said in a note to clients. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report later on Monday is expected to show the U.S. winter wheat harvest as 7 percent complete by Sunday, a Reuters analyst poll showed. Analysts also expected the USDA to show a decline in its condition ratings for the U.S. spring wheat crop, which has struggled with hot and dry weather in the Dakotas. Temperatures in Aberdeen, South Dakota, reached a record-high 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius) on Friday, the National Weather Service said. Fears about diminishing spring wheat yield potential lifted the premium for front-month MGEX spring wheat futures above K.C. hard red winter wheat futures to about $1.59 a bushel, the widest since June 2012. CBOT soybean futures were modestly higher, supported by technical buying and fund short-covering after the supplement to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly Commitments of Traders report showed that funds expanded big net short positions in soybeans and corn. Large speculators stretched their net short in CBOT soybean futures to 113,391 contracts in the week to May 30, the CFTC report showed, the widest since March 2016. A large net short position leaves the market vulnerable to bouts of short-covering. Also bullish, the USDA said private exporters sold 120,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations. Traders expected the USDA later on Monday to rate 67 percent of the U.S. corn crop as good to excellent, up from 65 percent a week earlier as drier weather bolstered fields in saturated areas.

CBOT prices as of 12:43 p.m. CDT (1743 GMT):

Net Pct Volume

Last change change

CBOT wheat WN7 428.25 -1.25 -0.3 57361 CBOT corn CN7 372.50 -0.25 -0.1 136109 CBOT soybeans SN7 921.50 0.25 0.0 71953 CBOT soymeal SMN7 301.20 -0.70 -0.2 31833 CBOT soyoil BON7 31.14 0.13 0.4 33377

NOTE: CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Signapore; Editing by David Goodman and James Dalgleish)