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GRAINS-CBOT wheat rallies on weather; corn, soy dip before USDA planting report

P.J. Huffstutter


* U.S. wheat rebounds after closing lower on Friday

* U.S. wheat belts, including Kansas, set for more rain

* Corn, soybeans slip before weekly planting update

(Updates prices; changes dateline, previous PARIS/SINGAPORE) CHICAGO, June 3 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rallied on Monday on concerns about harvest risks as more heavy rain was forecast in some U.S. grain belts and warm, dry weather was expected in top wheat exporter Russia. Meanwhile, corn and soybean futures traded choppily as the markets digested a threat of U.S. tariffs against Mexico. U.S. President Donald Trump last week threatened to place tariffs on imports of goods from Mexico in response to illegal immigration. The move raised fears about agricultural trade with Mexico, the largest buyer of U.S. corn, and wider effects on economic growth amid an ongoing trade dispute between Washington and Beijing. "It's all weather and trade today," said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading. "Eventually, this market is going to shift from focusing on acres to the condition to the corn and soybean crops, but it's going to be a while before we get there." Torrential rain, which has already slowed corn planting to its slowest pace on record, is adding to concerns about damage to U.S. wheat. The latest forecasts showed more heavy rain in part of the central U.S. Plains in the next two weeks, including in the major wheat-growing state of Kansas, said Joel Widenor, meteorologist for Commodity Weather Group (CWG). But it was the addition of the dry forecast for the Black Sea winter wheat region that provided the boost to wheat futures prices on Monday, traders said. "The Russian crop is well into maturity, so there's now concerns about yield loss," said commodities broker Craig Turner of Daniels Trading. "They're not going to lose the crop, but it's not going to be as big as we all previously thought." The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up nearly 1.9% at $5.12-1/4 a bushel, as of 11:23 a.m. CDT (1423 GMT). Kansas hard red winter wheat led overnight gains in U.S. futures, with spot prices trading up nearly 2.4% at $4.84. Corn and soybean traders on Monday also tried to hedge their risks before a weekly U.S. government crop planting report, that was expected to shed more light on whether historic rain delays in seeding corn and soybean crops continued last week. Grain traders were looking ahead to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly crop progress report, issued after the market close on Monday, to see if soggy field conditions continued to blight corn and soybean planting efforts in the Midwest. Corn and soybean futures traded in a narrow range earlier in the day. But prices fell sharply after Reuters published an analyst poll that predicted USDA's report should show that farmers were able to plant 71% of the U.S. corn crop as of Sunday, according to the average estimate in a survey of 15 analysts on Monday. Trade estimates for the week ended June 2 ranged from 68% to 76%. The government was scheduled to publish its report at 3 p.m. CDT. Analysts also expected the USDA on Monday to report that soybean planting was 42% complete, with estimates ranging from 39% to 45%. Analysts put the five-year average for soybean planting progress at 79%. CBOT corn was down 1.05% at $4.22-1/2 a bushel, while soybeans inched down 0.03% to $8.78 a bushel.

Last Net Pct Volume

change change

CBOT wheat WN9 448.75 0.25 0.0 81854CBOT corn CN9 369.50 0.75 0.0 320023CBOT soybeans SN9 835.50 4.00 0.5 167736CBOT soymeal SMN9 299.80 1.80 0.5 65936CBOT soyoil BON9 27.24 0.24 1.0 60139

(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by Alexander Smith and G Crosse)