Wires

GRAINS-Corn firms on concerns over U.S. harvest pace

Colin Packham

* Corn up for second straight session

* USDA pegs U.S. harvest pace below expectations

* Soybeans rebounds from over 3-week low, wheat edges higher

SYDNEY, Oct 30 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures edged higher on Wednesday, extending gains into a second consecutive session, underpinned by slow progress in harvesting North American crops. Soybeans firmed, rebounding from a two-week low touched in the previous session, while wheat also edged higher. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.2% at $3.87 a bushel, as of 0132 GMT, having gained 0.6% in the previous session. Analysts said the ongoing concerns about the pace of harvesting in the United States were supporting prices, though gains were checked by favorable weather forecasts for South America. "Weather forecasters are now expecting some relief for dry conditions in Argentina's summer crop regions. This will allay some modest worries," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday said the U.S. corn harvest was 41% complete, up from 30% a week earlier but lower than the average pace of 61%. The corn harvest progress was below the average trade estimate of 43%. However, weather forecasts predict snow across a wide swath of the U.S. Midwest - from Missouri to Wisconsin, which could further slow the harvest. The most active wheat futures were up 0.2% at $5.12-1/2 a bushel, having closed little changed in the previous session. The most active soybean futures were up 0.1% at $9.19-1/4 a bushel, having closed little changed on Tuesday after prices hit an over three-week low of $9.16 a bushel earlier in the session. U.S. farmers have harvested 62% of their soybean crop, up from 46% a week earlier although below the average pace of 78% at this time of the year, the USDA said. Soybeans were under pressure as a key trade deal between Washington and Beijing remains elusive, analysts said. An interim trade agreement between the United States and China might not be completed in time for signing in Chile next month as expected but that does not mean the accord is falling apart, a U.S. administration official said on Tuesday.

Grains prices at 0132 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 512.50 1.00 +0.20% +0.15% 502.00 50CBOT corn 387.00 0.75 +0.19% +0.78% 385.63 52CBOT soy 919.25 1.00 +0.11% -0.16% 916.34 40CBOT rice 11.93 $0.00 +0.00% -1.04% $12.17 35WTI crude 55.31 -$0.23 -0.41% -0.90% $54.77 52

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.111 $0.000 +0.01% +0.12%USD/AUD 0.6868 0.000 +0.06% +0.44%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Aditya Soni)