Top Stories
Top Stories

GRAINS-Corn holds firm at 4-year peak as rains stall U.S. planting

Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral

* Chicago corn set to finish week with 7% gain

* Rains seen adding to planting delays in soggy Midwest

* Wheat futures ease after 6-month high

* Soybeans also consolidate after rally on planting risks

(Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, June 14 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures rose further on Friday to a fresh four-year high as the latest showers in the U.S. Midwest threatened to add to planting delays that have hit harvest prospects. Wheat prices ticked lower after earlier touching a six-month high and soybeans were little changed as the market assessed the risk of further disruption to spring planting and damage to wheat crops ahead of harvesting. The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.9% at $4.46 a bushel by 0918 GMT, its highest since July 2015. The corn contract was up 7.2% so far this week. The latest wet spell from the middle of this week in the Midwest has deepened concern about harvest prospects after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sharply cut its U.S. 2019 corn yield forecast in a monthly report on Tuesday. "This (rain) is dampening hopes that the unplanted fields will still be sown with corn after all," Commerzbank analysts said. "Even if the fields are planted, considerably lower yields can be expected." CBOT soybeans were up 0.1% at $8.88-3/4 a bushel. Wheat ticked down 0.1% to $5.35 a bushel after earlier hitting its highest since mid-December at $5.38. Soybeans rallied this week as the latest rain forecasts raised concerns that later-planted beans would be hit too. The USDA said the U.S. soybean crop was 60% seeded by June 9, compared to the five-year average of 88%. In addition to damp conditions for U.S. winter wheat belts, Chicago wheat has also got support from adverse weather in other parts of the world. Dry weather will persist across Australia until at least the end of September, the country's weather bureau said on Thursday. Harvest prospects are seen as broadly favorable in western Europe and the Black Sea region, but analyst firm Strategie Grains cut its European Union soft wheat crop forecast on Thursday, citing adverse weather.

Prices at 0918 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd PctMove 2018 MoveCBOT wheat 535.00 -0.50 -0.09 503.25 6.31CBOT corn 446.00 4.00 0.90 375.00 18.93CBOT soy 888.75 0.75 0.08 895.00 -0.70Paris wheat Sep 179.00 0.25 0.14 190.50 -6.04Paris maize Aug 176.50 0.25 0.14 187.25 -5.74Paris rape Aug 368.00 0.50 0.14 362.25 1.59WTI crude oil 51.99 -0.29 -0.55 45.41 14.49Euro/dlr 1.13 0.00 -0.11 1.1469 -1.80

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

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Jan Harvey)