Wires

GRAINS-Corn rises on U.S. crop concern, USDA forecasts awaited

Michael Hogan

* Corn up ahead of USDA report, lower U.S. yields expected

* Wheat, soybean slip in positioning ahead of USDA forecasts (Recasts with European trade, adds new comment, changes dateline)

HAMBURG, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose on Monday ahead of a closely watched U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on world crop supplies due later this week.

Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn was up 0.1% at $3.85-1/4 a bushel at 1047 GMT, after closing down 1% on Friday.

Wheat was 0.2% lower at $4.89-1/2 a bushel. Soybeans were down 0.1% at $9.15-1/4 a bushel.

The USDA's world agricultural supply and demand estimates are due on Thursday, with analysts polled by Reuters expecting the department to cut estimates for U.S. corn and soybean harvests.

"Corn is firmer while soybeans and wheat are down slightly in positioning as the market awaits the USDA crop reports," said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager with INTL FCStone.

"The U.S.-China trade talks and forecasts of colder weather in parts of the U.S. grain belt are also being watched."

Expectations of a cut in Thursday's USDA forecasts were underlined by private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa, which on Friday cut its average U.S. 2019 corn yield forecast to 167.5 bushels per acre from 169.6 bushels a month before.

Rain and flooding delayed this year's U.S. corn planting.

"Recently, the general view of the U.S. corn crop is that estimates are getting a bit larger," Ammermann said. "But IEG/Informa on Friday said the crop would be smaller and now we are assessing whether there will be a change in attitude."

"Will the USDA start to forecast a significantly smaller U.S. corn crop, and if so, how much smaller?"

"Colder weather is forecast in parts of the U.S. crop regions later this week and next week at a time when harvests are running late because of this seasons delayed plantings."

Markets are awaiting the USDA's crop progress report later on Monday for the latest picture of the U.S. harvests, he said.

U.S. and Chinese officials meet in Washington on Oct. 10-11 in a fresh effort to solve the trade war which has slashed U.S. exports of soybeans and other farm products to China.

"The U.S./China trade talks are in focus this week. But markets now want concrete indications of progress in the trade war before reacting," Ammermann said.

Brokerage Allendale said "weather maps look positive for prices".

Forecasts are calling for late-week snowstorms across North and South Dakota and western Minnesota, which could protect crops from expected frosts, Allendale said. (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Jan Harvey)