May 16, 2019 / 7:39 AM / 4 months ago

GRAINS-Corn rises for 4th day as rains threaten to further slow U.S. planting

    * Corn rises 1.5% on forecasts of more rains in U.S. Midwest
    * Wheat gains 1% as funds cover short positions, soybean

 (Adds chart, updates prices)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, May 16 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures gained
1.5% on Thursday, rising for the fourth consecutive session as
forecasts for more rain across key growing parts of the U.S.
Midwest stoked fears of further planting delays.
    Wheat rose 1% on short-covering by funds, while soybeans
ticked higher.
    The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade
 rose 1.2% to $3.74 a bushel by 0720 GMT, after hitting its
highest since March 26 at 3.80 a bushel on Wednesday.
    Wheat was up 1.3% at $4.54-1/2 a bushel after closing
little changed in the last session and soybeans added 0.3%
to $8.38 a bushel, having closed up 0.5% on Wednesday.
    Corn is drawing support as rains forecast across the U.S.
Midwest are likely to further delay planting. If farmers are
unable to sow corn, they will switch to soybeans, which has a
later planting window.
    Still, ample world supplies of the grain kept a lid on
    "Corn planting delay is an issue although supplies are
pretty ample worldwide," said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness
economist at National Australia Bank.
    "We are not in a world where we have lack of corn. This
market action is mainly short-covering."
    U.S. farmers seeded 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop by
Sunday, the government said, lagging the five-year average of
66%. The soybean crop was 9% planted, behind the five-year
average of 29%. 
    The National Oilseed Processors Association said its U.S.
members crushed 159.99 million bushels of soybeans in April,
down from 170.0 million in March and below an average of analyst
expectations for 161.6 million.
    Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean,
soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Wednesday and net even
in wheat, traders said.
    Trader estimates of net fund buying in corn ranged from
9,000 to 25,000 contracts. The following table reflects the
average of estimates from trade sources
    Expectations of higher wheat output in the Black Sea region
is limiting gains in prices.
    Favourable weather this winter and spring will allow Ukraine
to increase its 2019 wheat harvest to 26.2 million tonnes and
its barley harvest to 7.9 million, the APK-Inform consultancy
said on Wednesday.
    CBOT July corn is biased to retrace to $3.66 per
bushel, as it failed to break a resistance at $3.80, Wang Tao, a
Reuters market analyst for commodities technicals, wrote in a
 Grains prices at 0720 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  454.50  5.75    +1.28%   +1.34%       448.60  71
 CBOT corn   374.00  4.50    +1.22%   +1.42%       365.64  72
 CBOT soy    838.00  2.50    +0.30%   +0.78%       867.69  59
 CBOT rice   10.91   -$0.01  -0.09%   -1.00%       $10.72  81
 WTI crude   62.42   $0.40   +0.64%   +1.04%       $63.28  
 Euro/dlr    $1.120  $0.000  +0.04%   +0.01%               
 USD/AUD     0.6913  -0.001  -0.20%   -0.40%               

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V and Rashmi
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