June 17, 2013 / 11:44 AM / 5 years ago

GRAINS-Corn jumps 2 percent on soaring cash markets

* Tight stocks, firm cash lifts old-crop corn
    * New-crop gains muted by good US crop weather
    * Soybeans pressured by nice growing weather
    * Bargain buying aids wheat

 (Updates to include U.S. trading session settlements)
    By Sam Nelson
    CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT)
corn futures leaped over 2 percent on Monday, posting the
biggest one-day advance in nearly a month on soaring cash corn
markets and tight stocks of corn.
    "July (old-crop) is definitely benefiting from the
firm cash basis and tight near-term supplies. The western Corn
Belt basis is very strong," said Sterling Smith, market
specialist for Citigroup.        
    New-crop December corn gained as well, but its advance
was limited by nearly ideal crop growing weather in the U.S.
Midwest that could nurse the late-planted crop to record
production levels.
    "New-crop contracts are finding pressure from the absolutely
beautiful crop weather," Smith said.
    Soybean futures eased as a turn to nearly ideal crop growing
weather suggested 2013 crop production will rebound after last
season's drought-reduced harvest.
    "A lot of this is the weather. It's turning warm and dry now
which is just what the crop needs," said Anne Frick, oilseeds
analyst for Jefferies Bache.
    Wheat turned up on bargain buying after slipping earlier to
a 2-1/2 month low on seasonal harvest pressure as U.S. farmers
gained traction cutting the 2013 U.S. winter wheat crop.
    CBOT corn for July delivery was up 13-1/2 cents per
bushel at $6.68-1/2, while new-crop December was up 5-1/2
at $5.38-1/2.
    CBOT July soybeans were down 4 cents per bushel at
$15.12-1/2 and July wheat was down 1/4 cent at $6.80-1/2.
    Cash basis bids for barge loads of corn shipped to the U.S.
Gulf Coast surged to their highest-ever springtime level on
Friday as exporters scrambled for near-term supplies that
remained extremely tight. 
    "There are a bunch of paper shorts in the market and
exporters still have a program to fill. Nobody's selling
anything right now and the pipeline is just so thin," said an
corn export trader.
    Gains were slowed in the corn market and pressure was
applied to new-crop December corn and new-crop November soybean
futures contracts by crop growing conditions that have turned
nearly ideal in the U.S. Midwest after record rains early this
spring led to the slowest planting pace in 17 years.
    "We're getting near the end of plantings now, so the
plantings lag is not so important," Frick said.    
    Good growing weather is expected through the end of June as
farmers wind down seedings, an agricultural meteorologist said
on Monday.
    "We're shifting focus to good growing weather, they should
wrap up plantings this week," said John Dee, meteorologist for
Global Weather Monitoring.
    Dee said there would not be a lot of rainfall in the Midwest
this week, only "isolated showers," and there is no heat
expected for an extended period of time. Temperatures will rise
to the upper 70s (degrees Fahrenheit) to low 80s F and another
round of showers will begin this coming weekend, he said.
    "There will be between 0.50 inch to 1.00 inch next week so
there is no pronounced dryness expected. Overall the forecast
looks good for crops," Dee said.
    The soy market was pressured by speculation that China's soy
imports may be overestimated.
    "There is some concern about China's economy and the surplus
of soybeans there because of their big imports, but I think most
are focusing on U.S. weather today," Frick said.   
    On the Paris futures market, benchmark November milling
wheat was down 0.75 euro a tonne. A stronger euro, which
makes euro-priced products more expensive on export markets,
weighed on prices.  
    The harvest of winter wheat is under way in the United
States, the world's biggest exporter, and early reports from
drought-hit Texas and Oklahoma are not as bad as feared,
agronomists and others said. 
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its estimate of
the 2013 U.S. winter wheat harvest last week to 1.509 billion
bushels, from 1.486 billion in May.
 Prices at 1:32 p.m. CDT (1832 GMT)      
                              LAST      NET    PCT     YTD
                                        CHG    CHG     CHG
 CBOT corn                  668.50    13.50   2.1%   -4.3%
 CBOT soy                  1512.50    -4.00  -0.3%    6.6%
 CBOT meal                  449.10    -1.60  -0.4%    6.8%
 CBOT soyoil                 48.84     0.36   0.7%   -0.7%
 CBOT wheat                 680.50    -0.25   0.0%  -12.5%
 CBOT rice                 1632.50   -18.00  -1.1%    9.9%
 EU wheat                   195.50    -0.75  -0.4%  -21.9%
 US crude                    97.80    -0.05  -0.1%    6.5%
 Dow Jones                  15,174      104   0.7%   15.8%
 Gold                      1381.56    -8.64  -0.6%  -17.5%
 Euro/dollar                1.3338  -0.0007  -0.1%    1.1%
 Dollar Index              80.8170   0.1470   0.2%    1.3%
 Baltic Freight                925       25   2.8%   32.3%

 (Additional reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago, Naveen Thukral
in Singapore and Ivana Sekularac in Amsterdam; editing by Jim
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