GRAINS-Wheat rises a second day as cold weather threatens U.S. crops

* Wheat lingers near one-month high

* Soybeans firm as dry weather persists across Argentina

* Corn little changed

SYDNEY, Jan 3 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose for a second day on Wednesday, lingering near a one-month high touched in the previous session, as sub-zero temperatures across a key North American producing region underpinned gains. Soybeans edged higher for a third straight session as concerns about production in Argentina lent support, while corn was little changed. The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.5 percent at $4.35-1/2 a bushel by 0248 GMT, having closed up 1.5 percent on Tuesday when prices hit a high of $4.36-1/4 a bushel - the highest since Dec. 5, 2017. "It is bitterly cold across the central U.S. now and there is little snow cover, potentially risking the crop," said a Sydney-based grain broker, who declined to be named as he is not authorized to talk to the media Winter wheat crops are typically covered by snow during this time of year which helps protect the dormant crop from cold temperatures. The most-active corn futures were little changed at $3.53-1/2 a bushel, having gained 0.7 percent in the previous session. Corn export inspections during Dec. 21 to 28 were 683,898 tonnes, also in line with trade estimates that ranged from 575,000 to 800,000 tonnes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Tuesday. Export inspections of wheat during the period totalled 274,506 tonnes, below estimates for 300,000 to 600,000 tonnes, the USDA said. The most active soybean futures were up 0.2 percent to $9.66-1/2 a bushel, having firmed 0.3 percent on Tuesday. Analysts said soybeans continue to draw support amid concerns about dry weather across some areas. Argentina's bread-basket province of Buenos Aires will remain mostly dry over the days ahead, meteorologists said on Tuesday, after reporting scant rains over the weekend in the country's biggest and most productive farm area. The USDA said on Tuesday that weekly U.S. soybean export inspections were 1.139 million tonnes, in line with forecasts for 1.1 million to 1.3 million tonnes.

Grains prices at 0248 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 435.50 2.00 +0.46% +1.99% 427.52 75 CBOT corn 353.50 0.25 +0.07% +0.78% 352.43 67 CBOT soy 966.50 1.75 +0.18% +0.49% 988.04 46 CBOT rice 11.75 -$0.03 -0.21% -1.43% $12.28 27 WTI crude 60.41 $0.04 +0.07% -0.02% $58.01 76


Euro/dlr $1.205 -$0.001 -0.09% +0.32% USD/AUD 0.7809 -0.002 -0.26% +0.08%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)