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GRAINS-Corn hits one-week high as rain delays U.S. planting

Karl Plume

* Corn gains 1 pct as rains delay planting in U.S. Midwest

* Soybeans slip on big supplies, bumper South American crops

* Wheat pressured by abundant world supplies (Rewrites throughout with U.S. market open, adds quote, updates prices; changes byline, dateline, previous SINGAPORE/PARIS)

CHICAGO, April 29 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures firmed on Monday to the highest point in a week as wet weather across much of the U.S. Midwest and forecasts for continued rains this week threatened to prolong spring planting delays.

Soybeans were flat to lower on abundant global supplies and worries that delayed corn seeding could shift more acres to later-planted beans.

Wheat slumped under pressure from ample world supplies and crop-friendly weather in key growing areas of the northern hemisphere, including the southern U.S. Plains where crops planted last autumn will be harvested in the coming months.

Wet weather on Monday across a large swathe of the central United States following weekend rain and snow in some areas has sidelined many farmers who have been eager to begin spring planting.

"We've got some sluggish planting progress, especially in the eastern Corn Belt," said Brian Basting, analyst with Advance Trading in Bloomington, Illinois.

"It's a little premature to start talking about switching from corn to beans, but it certainly becomes more critical as we turn the calendar to May," he said.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect U.S. corn planting to be just 14 percent complete as of Sunday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is due to release its weekly crop progress report later on Monday.

Chicago Board of Trade July corn was 1-3/4 cents higher at $3.63 a bushel at 12:13 p.m. CDT (1713 GMT). The contract hit its highest level in a week after notching contract lows in four straight sessions last week.

CBOT July soybeans were 1/2 cent lower at $8.66-1/2 a bushel.

Record-large short holdings by large speculators limited the downside in grains and soy as markets remain susceptible to bouts of short covering.

Losses in soybeans were also limited by hopes for a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks, which could help bolster sluggish U.S. exports and whittle down massive stocks of the oilseed. However, global stocks remain plentiful as South American farmers are harvesting bumper crops.

Brazil's 2018/19 soybean crop is poised to be the second-largest on record, a Reuters poll showed.

Largely beneficial crop weather in the southern U.S. Plains hard wheat belt and key wheat production areas around the globe dragged down wheat futures.

Hard red winter (HRW) wheat posted contract lows while soft red winter (SRW) wheat hovered just above life-of-contract lows. Spring wheat also hit contract lows despite concerns about planting delays.

CBOT July SRW wheat fell 5 cents to $4.37-1/2 a bushel. (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; editing by Susan Fenton and James Dalgleish)