GRAINS-Wheat at 7-week high on dry conditions in U.S.; corn at 9-month peak

* Wheat up for 4 out of 5 sessions, at highest since early March

* Corn rises to 9-month top, soybeans also at 7-week high

(Updates prices, adds quote) SINGAPORE/PARIS, April 30 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat gained 1.7 percent on Monday, rising to its highest since early March as concerns over dry weather in the U.S. southern plains underpinned the market. Corn prices jumped to a nine-month peak, while soybeans hit a two-week high as cold and wet weather continued to delay planting in parts of the U.S. Midwest. The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract had gained 1.7 percent to $5.07 a bushel by 1250 GMT, their highest since March 7. A dry growing season in the U.S. southern Plains is expected to take its toll on yields for the Hard Red Winter wheat crop. "The water deficit is lasting in large areas of winter wheat production and there is some concern for spring wheat due to the temperatures," French consultancy Agritel said. A widely watched crop tour through Kansas that begins this week that will allow crop scouts to get a first-hand look at damage caused by drought. Corn and soybean futures are being underpinned by wet weather in the U.S. Midwest. "Growers in the U.S. Midwest continue to have their planting dogged by often wet, and sometimes cool, weather," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "The jump in soybean prices on Friday had echoes across most feed prices in the U.S. too." Corn gained 0.75 percent to $4.01-1/2 a bushel, near the session-peak of $4.02 a bushel, the highest since July. Soybeans climbed 0.5 percent to $10.61-1/2 a bushel after hitting their highest since March 8 at $10.67-1/2 a bushel. There was additional support for soybean prices stemming from expectations that the United States will boost its share of the soymeal export market due to shortfalls in Argentina. Large speculators cut their net long position in CBOT corn futures in the week to April 24, regulatory data released on Friday showed. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and cut their net long position in soybeans. "Chicago's gains also took prices away from levels that might prompt selling by some, heavily long, investors," said Gorey. Canadian farmers expect to plant 21.4 million acres of canola in 2018, down 7 percent from a record-high 22.997 million in 2017 and less than trade expectations, a Statistics Canada survey released on Friday showed.

Prices at 1250 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd Move 2017 Pct


CBOT wheat July 507.00 8.50 1.71 427.00 18.74 CBOT corn July 401.50 3.00 0.75 350.75 14.47 CBOT soy July 1061.50 5.25 0.50 951.75 11.53 Paris wheat May 168.00 1.75 1.05 162.50 3.38 Paris maize Jun 164.25 0.75 0.46 163.50 0.46 Paris rape May 329.25 3.50 1.07 347.75 -5.32 WTI crude oil 67.53 -0.57 -0.84 60.42 11.77 Euro/dlr 1.21 0.00 -0.39

Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by Joseph Radford/David Evans)