* U.S. wheat trades near highest in 3-1/2 months
* Rains seen cutting wheat sowing in Russia, Ukraine
* Corn faces harvest pressure, soybeans up 0.5 pct
* China's soymeal futures hit record on tight supply
(Adds analyst's quote, updates prices)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, Oct 8 U.S. wheat rose for a second
consecutive session on Tuesday and hovered near its highest
since late June as rains across key exporters Russia and Ukraine
cut planting, raising concerns about tighter global supplies.
Corn was little changed with pressure from the harvesting of
a record crop in the United States, while soybeans rose around
half a percent.
"The key story for wheat is loss of planted acres in Russia
for the winter crop," said Brett Cooper, senior markets manager
at INTL FCStone Australia. "People are talking about 7 million
tonnes of loss in production."
Chicago Board of Trade front-month wheat gained 0.3
percent to $6.96-3/4 a bushel by 0253 GMT, not far from last
week's three-and-half month high of $6.98 a bushel.
Spot-month wheat has risen 11.5 percent in less than a
month, driven by crop concerns in top producers Brazil,
Argentina and China earlier this year and now in Ukraine and
Rain will cut the area Russia sows for winter grains by
one-fifth compared to the official forecast, the agriculture
ministry said on Monday, fuelling speculation that 2014's winter
wheat crop could fall.
Winter grains for the 2014 crop were sown over 8.7 million
hectares, or 53 percent of the planned area as of Oct. 7,
compared with 12.8 million hectares at the same date a year ago.
And Ukraine's wheat harvest could be down by a third to
about 15 million tonnes in 2014 from around 22 million tonnes
this year because heavy rains will cut the sowing area, the
country's agriculture minister said on Friday.
The corn market is facing pressure from record-large crop
being harvested in the United States. December corn gained
quarter of a cent to $4.49-1/2 a bushel.
The soybean market has registered modest gains in the past
few sessions, finding support after private analytics firm
Informa Economics lowered its estimate for U.S. production.
Soybeans for delivery in November added 0.5 percent to
$13.02-3/4 a bushel.
Informa projected U.S. 2013 soybean production at 3.176
billion bushels, with a yield of 41.7 bushels per acre (bpa).
The figures are below Informa's Sept. 20 estimates for a 3.224
billion bushel crop with a yield of 42.4 bpa.
China's Dalian soymeal futures climbed 1.8 percent
to a record high with tight supplies driving the market higher.
Commodity funds bought a net 9,000 Chicago Board of Trade
corn contracts on Monday, trade sources said. They bought 3,000
wheat and were even in soybeans.
The U.S. corn harvest was likely 20 percent complete as of
Oct. 6, according to the average of 11 estimates in a Reuters
poll of analysts. The soybean harvest was pegged at 22 percent
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) typically provides
an update on harvest on Monday afternoons, but no report was
expected this week due to the partial shutdown of the U.S.
The USDA, which did provide weekly export inspections data
on a government website on Monday morning, said it will not
issue its monthly crop report and world supply and demand
estimates on Friday because of the shutdown.
Prices at 0253 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg MA 30 RSI
CBOT wheat 696.75 2.00 +0.29% 867.63 77
CBOT corn 449.50 0.25 +0.06% 756.89 46
CBOT soy 1302.75 6.25 +0.48% 1573.97 45
CBOT rice $14.82 -$0.01 -0.03% $15.46 18
WTI crude $103.06 $0.03 +0.03% $89.42 40
Euro/dlr $1.357 $0.128
USD/AUD 0.942 -0.113
Most active contracts
Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
RSI 14, exponential
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)