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GRAINS-Corn hits 1-week high as rains threaten to stall U.S. planting

Naveen Thukral

* Chicago corn climbs more than 1%, up for third session

* Soybeans, wheat futures gain for 4th consecutive session

* Forecasts of more U.S. rains threatening to halt planting

(Adds details, quote) SINGAPORE, June 13 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose 1.2% on Thursday to a one-week high, while soybeans gained for a fourth consecutive session as forecasts of more rains in the U.S. Midwest threatened to stall planting. Wheat jumped to its highest since early February with prices underpinned dry weather hurting recently planted crop in Australia, typically the world's fourth-largest exporter. The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 1.2% at $4.35-1/4 a bushel, as of 0149 GMT, near the session high of $4.36 a bushel - the highest since June 4. Soybeans added 0.3% to $8.80-1/2 a bushel, after closing 2.2% firmer on Wednesday and wheat rose 0.5% to $5.29 a bushel, after climbing to its highest since Feb. 6 at $5.30-3/4 a bushel. Corn and soybeans are drawing support particularly from forecasts for wet weather across the U.S. Midwest, which threaten to stall planting. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday cut its corn yield projection in a monthly report by 5.7% to 166 bushels, surprising analysts who had expected a smaller decline. "With so much late planting this season, the tail on weather threats to this U.S. corn crop will run well into the northern (hemisphere) autumn," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The USDA left its estimates for soybean production and yields unchanged from May. Adjustments to the soybean crop outlook can be expected in the USDA's July report, the agency's chief economist told Reuters on Wednesday. If conditions improve, farmers could switch acres to soybeans, which are typically planted after corn. However, future rains mean more soybean plantings may be stalled, traders said. China's soymeal futures rose 2.6%, while rapemeal futures climbed more than 3%, largely tracking gains in the Chicago market. The wheat market is being buoyed by a third year of drought in Australia. Dry weather will persist across Australia until at least the end of September, the country's weather bureau said on Thursday, in a forecast that threatens to further lower wheat production.

There is just a 30% chance that Australia will record average rainfall between July 1 and Sept 30, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean, soymeal, soyoil and wheat futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said.

Grains prices at 0149 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 529.00 2.75 +0.52% +4.24% 474.78 69CBOT corn 435.25 5.25 +1.22% +4.69% 394.00 71CBOT soy 880.50 2.50 +0.28% +2.56% 845.35 66CBOT rice 11.73 -$0.02 -0.13% -0.38% $11.28 54WTI crude 51.28 $0.14 +0.27% -3.74% $58.31

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.129 -$0.004 -0.32% -0.17%USD/AUD 0.6921 -0.004 -0.56% -0.57%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)