* Corn hits highest in five days
* Wheat firms 1.5 percent after four sessions of losses
* Soybean prices climb as quality of U.S. crops eases
SYDNEY, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. corn climbed 2 percent on Tuesday as forecasts for hot, dry weather across a key producing region stoked fears of further output losses. Wheat prices gained 1.5 percent after four consecutive sessions of losses, while soybeans rose more than 0.5 percent. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 2 percent at $3.95-1/2 a bushel at 0333 GMT, after earlier touching their highest since July 13 at $3.96 a bushel. Corn closed down 0.4 percent the day before. "The weather outlook for the coming week is pointing toward above average temperatures for the U.S. corn belt," said Angus Thornton, commodity analyst at Profarmer. Temperatures will remain hot and above-normal during the next six to 15 days in much of the Midwest and Plains, potentially stressing crops, the Commodity Weather Group said. The weather outlook threatens further downgrades to the quality of U.S. crops. The U.S. Department of Agriculture after the close of futures trading said the corn crop has deteriorated last week, pegging good-to-excellent ratings at 64 percent, down 1 percent.
Analysts also noted support for corn from strong demand for U.S. supplies. The most active soybean futures were up 0.7 percent at $10.04-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.4 percent on Monday. The USDA said U.S. soybeans were 61 percent good-to-excellent, down 1 percent from the previous week. The most active wheat futures rose 1.6 percent to $5.11-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.9 percent previously. The USDA said the U.S. spring wheat crop was 34 percent good-to-excellent, down 1 percentage point from a week ago and matching analyst expectations.
Grains prices at 0333 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 514.00 8.00 +1.58% +0.64% 495.32 57 CBOT corn 395.50 7.50 +1.93% +1.54% 396.75 57 CBOT soy 1004.50 7.00 +0.70% +0.30% 962.06 59 CBOT rice 11.82 -$0.02 -0.17% +1.24% $11.71 63 WTI crude 46.09 $0.07 +0.15% -0.97% $45.08 57
Euro/dlr $1.153 $0.005 +0.47% +0.57% USD/AUD 0.7890 0.009 +1.18% +0.79%
Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)