May 20, 2014 / 3:28 AM / 5 years ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms 1 percent on U.S. planting delays

* USDA report shows planting of spring wheat behind
expectations
    * Corn rebounds from near three-month low
    * Soybeans steady after Monday's more than 1 percent rise

    By Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, May 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures rose 1
percent on Tuesday, after hitting a two-month low in the
previous session, as delays in plantings of spring wheat and
confirmation of further damage to the U.S. winter crop spurred
gains.
    Corn rose, recovering from a more than 1 percent drop seen
on Monday, while soybeans were little changed.
    Chicago Board of Trade July wheat futures rose 0.93
percent to $6.80-3/4 a bushel by 0241 GMT. Prices reached a low
of $6.62-3/4 a bushel on Monday - the weakest since March 12,
before closing up slightly for its first gain in nine sessions.
    Wheat drew support from a U.S. Department of Agriculture
report that showed spring wheat planting was 49 percent
complete, up from 34 percent in the previous week but still
behind expectations for 52 percent. 
    Analysts, however, said the gains may be short-lived.
    "The market may be focused on delays, but they will soon
realise that the moisture is good for yields," said Paul Deane,
senior agricultural economist, ANZ Bank.
    In North Dakota, the largest producer of spring wheat, just
25 percent of the crop had been seeded compared to the five-year
average of 55 percent.
    Hard red winter wheat, stressed by dry conditions, continued
to deteriorate in the U.S. Plains. The USDA said winter wheat
was rated 29 percent good to excellent, down 1 percentage point
from a week earlier.
    July corn futures rose 0.52 percent to $4.79-3/4 a
bushel, recovering from Monday's low of $4.76-1/4 a bushel - the
weakest since early March.
    Farmers had planted 73 percent of their corn acreage as of
May 18, up from 59 percent last week. The five-year average for
this time of year is 76 percent. Analysts had expected corn
planting to be 74 percent complete. 
    July soybeans futures were little changed at $14.86 a
bushel, having firmed 1.4 percent on Monday.
    The USDA said soybean planting was 33 percent complete,
compared with the five-year average of 38 percent and below
market expectations of 35 percent complete.
         
  Grains prices at  0241 GMT
  Contract        Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg MA 30   RSI 
  CBOT wheat     680.75     6.25  +0.93%    +0.37%     699.91   36
  CBOT corn      479.75     2.50  +0.52%    -0.93%     504.98   29
  CBOT soy      1486.00     0.75  +0.05%    +1.07%    1477.51   50
  CBOT rice      $15.32   -$0.01  -0.03%    -0.39%     $15.46   43
  WTI crude     $102.62    $0.01  +0.01%    +0.59%    $101.80   66
  Currencies                                                
  Euro/dlr       $1.371   $0.002  +0.14%    +0.01%
  USD/AUD         0.931   -0.005  -0.54%    -0.49%
  Most active contracts
  Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
  RSI 14, exponential
 
 (Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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