Wires

GRAINS-MGEX spring wheat rallies to highest since mid-July; soybeans, corn firm

Mark Weinraub

firm@ (Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote, changes byline/dateline; pvs HAMBURG)

CHICAGO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - MGEX spring wheat futures rallied for the fifth day in a row on Tuesday as farmers harvesting in the northern U.S. Plains found that wet conditions had lowered the quality of the crop there.

"They are talking about protein levels really taking a hit with the wet weather," said Mark Gold, managing partner with Top Third Ag Marketing in Chicago.

The front-month MGEX contract, which has gained 7.6%during the winning streak, hit its highest since July 15.

Winter wheat futures were weaker, pressured by good soil moisture levels in key growing areas as well as light demand on the export market.

Corn futures were slightly higher on technical buying but better-than-expected crop conditions kept the gains in check. Soybeans rose on renewed optimism about Chinese demand for U.S. supplies of the oilseed.

U.S. President Donald Trump sharply criticized China's trade practices on Tuesday in an address at the U.N. General Assembly in which he also held out hope that the two economic superpowers could reach a deal to end their trade dispute.

China has granted new waivers to several domestic state and private firms exempting them from retaliatory tariffs on soybeans imported from the United States, Bloomberg said, citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter.

At 10:55 a.m. CDT (1555 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures were up 4-1/2 cents at $8.97 a bushel.

CBOT December corn was up 1-1/4 cents at $3.74-1/2 a bushel, recovering from early weakness after finding support at its 10-day moving average.

The weekly crop progress report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after the market close on Monday said 57% of U.S. corn crops were in good-to-excellent condition, up from 55% last week and market expectations also of 55%.

The Commodity Weather Group said a frost was possible late next week in the northern Plains and northwest Midwest, posing a "limited threat" to 10% to 15% of corn and soybean crops.

MGEX spring wheat for December delivery was 8-1/2 cents higher at $5.45-3/4 a bushel. Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat was down 1-1/2 cents at $4.82 a bushel and K.C. December hard red winter wheat was 1/2 cent lower at $4.06 a bushel.

The USDA said 22% of U.S. winter wheat had been planted, up sharply from 8% last week. Some 87% of U.S. spring wheat was harvested, topping market expectations.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Michael Hogan in Hamburg Editing by Edmund Blair and Alexander Smith)