June 3, 2019 / 4:50 PM / 22 days ago

GRAINS-CBOT wheat rallies on weather; corn, soy dip before USDA planting report

    * U.S. wheat rebounds after closing lower on Friday
    * U.S. wheat belts, including Kansas, set for more rain
    * Corn, soybeans slip before weekly planting update

 (Updates prices; changes dateline, previous PARIS/SINGAPORE)
    By P.J. Huffstutter
    CHICAGO, June 3 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rallied on
Monday on concerns about harvest risks as more heavy rain was
forecast in some U.S. grain belts and warm, dry weather was
expected in top wheat exporter Russia.
    Meanwhile, corn and soybean futures traded choppily as the
markets digested a threat of U.S. tariffs against Mexico. 
    U.S. President Donald Trump last week threatened to place
tariffs on imports of goods from Mexico in response to illegal
immigration. The move raised fears about agricultural trade with
Mexico, the largest buyer of U.S. corn, and wider effects on
economic growth amid an ongoing trade dispute between Washington
and Beijing.
    "It's all weather and trade today," said Jim Gerlach,
president of A/C Trading. "Eventually, this market is going to
shift from focusing on acres to the condition to the corn and
soybean crops, but it's going to be a while before we get
there."
    Torrential rain, which has already slowed corn planting to
its slowest pace on record, is adding to concerns about damage
to U.S. wheat.
    The latest forecasts showed more heavy rain in part of the
central U.S. Plains in the next two weeks, including in the
major wheat-growing state of Kansas, said Joel Widenor,
meteorologist for Commodity Weather Group (CWG).
    But it was the addition of the dry forecast for the Black
Sea winter wheat region that provided the boost to wheat futures
prices on Monday, traders said.
    "The Russian crop is well into maturity, so there's now
concerns about yield loss," said commodities broker Craig Turner
of Daniels Trading. "They're not going to lose the crop, but
it's not going to be as big as we all previously thought."
    The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade
 was up nearly 1.9% at $5.12-1/4 a bushel, as of 11:23 a.m.
CDT (1423 GMT). Kansas hard red winter wheat led overnight gains
in U.S. futures, with spot prices trading up nearly 2.4%
at $4.84.
    Corn and soybean traders on Monday also tried to hedge their
risks before a weekly U.S. government crop planting report, that
was expected to shed more light on whether historic rain delays
in seeding corn and soybean crops continued last week.
    Grain traders were looking ahead to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's (USDA) weekly crop progress report, issued after
the market close on Monday, to see if soggy field conditions
continued to blight corn and soybean planting efforts in the
Midwest.
    Corn and soybean futures traded in a narrow range earlier in
the day. But prices fell sharply after Reuters published an
analyst poll that predicted USDA's report should show that
farmers were able to plant 71% of the U.S. corn crop as of
Sunday, according to the average estimate in a survey of 15
analysts on Monday.
    Trade estimates for the week ended June 2 ranged from 68% to
76%. The government was scheduled to publish its report at 3
p.m. CDT.
    Analysts also expected the USDA on Monday to report that
soybean planting was 42% complete, with estimates ranging from
39% to 45%. Analysts put the five-year average for soybean
planting progress at 79%.
    CBOT corn was down 1.05% at $4.22-1/2 a bushel, while
soybeans inched down 0.03% to $8.78 a bushel.
    
                        Last     Net     Pct  Volume
                              change  change  
 CBOT wheat     WN9   448.75    0.25     0.0   81854
 CBOT corn      CN9   369.50    0.75     0.0  320023
 CBOT soybeans  SN9   835.50    4.00     0.5  167736
 CBOT soymeal   SMN9  299.80    1.80     0.5   65936
 CBOT soyoil    BON9   27.24    0.24     1.0   60139
 
    
 (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore; editing by Alexander Smith and G Crosse)
  
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