GRAINS-Wheat firm on concerns over condition of U.S. crop

* Wheat extends gains into second straight session

* Worry about poor state of U.S. crop

* Soybeans firm despite fears about Chinese demand

* Drought in Argentina supports soybeans


(Recasts with European trade, adds new comment, changes dateline) HAMBURG, March 13 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose on Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said crops in the huge Kansas grain belt have suffered from adverse weather. Soybeans firmed on continued worries about drought damaging Argentina's harvest and corn also ticked up. Most active Chicago Board of Trade May wheat was up 0.5 percent at $4.93-1/4 a bushel at 1141 GMT, having closed up 0.4 percent on Monday. May soybeans rose 0.2 percent to $10.44 a bushel, after closing up 0.2 percent on Monday. May corn rose 0.1 percent to $3.91-1/2 a bushel. After the market close on Monday the USDA rated 12 percent of the winter wheat crop in the Kansas producing region as good to excellent condition, down from 13 percent a week earlier. The USDA rated 53 percent of the Kansas crop as poor to very poor, up from 50 percent the previous week. "Wheat is receiving support today from the USDA crop conditions ratings late on Monday and continued dryness in parts of the U.S. Plains," said Charles Clack, agricultural commodity analyst at Rabobank. "The fall in the Kansas wheat condition ratings was not huge in absolute terms but it confirmed the poor state of the crop, and that ground conditions in parts of the U.S. Plains are not improving and wheat is still being stressed." "There is concern that time is starting to run out for parts of U.S. wheat as we are coming closer to the point in the spring when the crop will move out of winter dormancy and will need moisture, otherwise yields could be hit." Dry weather continues to grip soybean producer Argentina. Hope has withered for any recovery in Argentine soybean yields hit by a four-month drought that shows no signs of abating. "Soybeans are again being underpinned by worries about drought reducing Argentinas crop," Clack said. "Volumes of rain in the last week in Argentina were disappointingly small." "The debate is now about just how much the Argentine soybean crop will be reduced by drought. Soybean pods are still filling so there remains a lot of potential for damage if the dryness continues." This was overriding concern about a possible trade war reducing massive U.S. soybean exports to China. Chinese officials have said U.S. soybeans are a prime target for retaliation against tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on steel and aluminium imports, said the American Soybean Association. "China would be left quite vulnerable if it reduced U.S. soybean imports with the crop in Argentina looking so poor," Clack said. "Corn is seeing some support from worries about delays to planting in Brazil. Firm Brazilian prices would help the U.S. win more export sales, with U.S. corn looking competitive in export markets." Grains prices at 1141 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 493.25 2.50 +0.51% +0.82% 478.13 62 CBOT corn 391.50 0.75 +0.19% +0.26% 377.78 78 CBOT soy 1044.00 3.00 +0.29% +0.46% 1032.44 41 CBOT rice $12.31 $0.00 +0.00% -1.01% $12.44 42 WTI crude $61.37 $0.01 +0.02% -1.08% $62.14 45


Euro/dlr $1.234

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

RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Michael Hogan, additional reporting by Colin Packham, editing by David Evans)