GRAINS-Corn firms as USDA pegs planting pace at record low

SYDNEY, May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. new-crop corn rose on
Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pegged
the sowing pace at the slowest rate on record despite a boost to
planting from recent favorable weather.

    * Chicago Board Of Trade December corn, the most
actively traded contract, rose 0.46 percent to $5.41-3/4 a
bushel, having closed up 1.8 percent in the previous session.
    * July corn was little changed at $6.55-3/4 a bushel,
after gaining 3 percent in the previous session.
    * July soybeans rose 0.19 percent to $14.22 a bushel
after firming 1.45 percent on Monday when the oilseed hit a
two-week intraday high of $14.23 a bushel. * July wheat was unchanged at $7.09-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 0.78 percent on Monday. * After a cold and wet spring in most of the U.S. crop belt, farmers have seeded 28 percent of their intended corn acres, up from 12 percent a week earlier but far behind the five-year average of 65 percent, the USDA said in a weekly report on Monday. * The figure fell just below the average 29 percent estimate by analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of the report. * For soybeans, the USDA said planting was 6 percent complete, up from 2 percent a week earlier, but the pace was the slowest for the 19th week since 1984, when soybeans were only 4 percent seeded. The five-year U.S. average for soybeans is 24 percent. * The USDA said 32 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week. The poorest ratings were in the breadbasket of the Plains, which has struggled with an ongoing drought. * Corn is under pressure after USDA forecast a record crop that would bolster U.S. stocks to more than 2 billion bushels at the end of next season, above trade expectations despite reduced
yields due to late planting. * U.S. soybean production was projected at a record 3.390 billion bushels, with 2013/14 ending stocks more than doubling to 265 million bushels from the 125 million estimated for the end of this season. The forecast was above trade expectations for 236 million bushels. MARKET NEWS * The dollar held firm near five-week high against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday after U.S. retail sales data eased fears of a slowdown in the world's largest economy. * Crude oil prices settled lower on Monday after a choppy day of trading, hit by slowing oil demand in China and data showing the biggest drop for U.S. retail gasoline sales in more than four years. * U.S. stocks closed little changed on Monday, pausing after hitting record highs last week, but strength in healthcare issues helped to keep declines in check. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0900 Euro zone Industrial production 0900 Germany ZEW economic sentiment 1130 U.S. NFIB business optimism 1145 U.S. ICSC weekly chain store sales 1230 U.S. Import/export prices 2030 U.S. API weekly crude stocks Grains prices at 0019 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 709.75 0.00 +0.00% +0.78% 707.82 49 CBOT corn 655.75 0.25 +0.04% +3.06% 633.92 73 CBOT soy 1422.00 2.75 +0.19% +1.64% 1368.22 79 CBOT rice $15.49 $0.06 +0.36% +1.54% $15.51 61 WTI crude $95.27 $0.10 +0.11% -0.80% $92.77 54 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.299 $0.002 +0.12% -0.02%
USD/AUD 0.997 0.002 +0.19% -0.50% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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