June 14, 2019 / 4:48 AM / 2 months ago

GRAINS-Corn climbs to 4-year top as rains stall U.S. planting

    * Chicago corn set to finish week with almost 7% gain
    * Rains, flooding halt field work in U.S. Midwest
    * Wheat futures ease after climbing to 6-month high

 (Adds details, quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, June 14 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures rose to
a four-year high on Friday and were poised to finish the week
with a gain of almost 7% as more rains in parts of the U.S.
Midwest threaten to stall planting.
    Wheat prices slid after jumping to a six-month high, while
soybeans were little changed, having risen for the last four
    The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade 
 climbed to its highest since July 2015 at $4.45-1/4,
extending gains into a fourth session. Corn was up 6.6% for the
week after closing down 2.6% last week.
    Wheat rose to its highest since December at $5.37-1/2
a bushel and has added nearly 6% for the week in what would be
its fifth straight weekly gain.
    The corn market got a boost this week after the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) cut its forecast of the U.S.
2019 corn yield in a monthly report and slashed its forecast of
2019/20 ending stocks, citing "unprecedented planting delays."
    "It is a serious matter now, it will further reduce yields
and there are expectations that the USDA will further cut
production estimates in the next report," said one
Singapore-based trader.
    Soybeans have gained ground for the last four sessions as
persistent rain in the Midwest crop belt 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%.
    Soybeans have gained nearly 4% this week, rebounding
from last week's 2.4% loss.
    A worsening of European soft wheat's competitiveness on
world markets led crop consultancy Strategie Grains to cut by
more than 1 million tonnes its forecast for EU soft wheat
exports to third countries for the 2019/20 season on Thursday.

    Strategie Grains now expects the European Union to export
22.1 million tonnes of soft wheat in the season starting on July
1, down from 23.2 million estimated last month.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean,
wheat, soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Thursday, traders
said. Trade estimates of net fund buying in corn ranged widely
from 18,000 to 50,000 contracts.
 Grains prices at 0423 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change   Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  535.00  -0.50    -0.09%   +3.28%       477.98  71
 CBOT corn   443.50  1.50     +0.34%   +3.68%       396.33  76
 CBOT soy    887.50  -0.50    -0.06%   +3.29%       846.46  69
 CBOT rice   11.67   $0.02    +0.17%   +0.82%       $11.32  57
 WTI crude   52.55   $0.27    +0.52%   +2.76%       $58.04  
 Euro/dlr    $1.127  -$0.006  -0.49%   -0.34%               
 USD/AUD     0.6899  -0.006   -0.88%   -0.89%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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