* Soybeans firm as processors seek crushing supplies
* Corn lower, drags wheat down
* Analysts expect heavy corn planting next week
(Adds new analyst quote, updates with closing prices, recasts
first three paragraphs)
By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. grain and soy futures closed
mostly lower on Wednesday as farmers geared up for what is
expected to be their best stretch of planting this spring.
Forecasts for dry weather in the U.S. Midwest bolstered
hopes that growers will be able to push planting back on
schedule after damp field conditions caused the slowest start to
corn seeding in 29 years.
"The factor having the greatest impact in the market right
now is improving weather," said Nicole Thomas, commodity analyst
with McKeany-Flavell. "There is still plenty of time to get the
acreage planted and we have not yet reached a point where we are
looking at any serious degradation to yield."
New-crop corn contracts fell the most, dropping 1.5 percent.
"Even though it is wet this week, I suspect you have people
looking forward to better planting weather next week," said Mike
Krueger, president of the Money Farm, a crop advisory service
near Fargo, North Dakota.
Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures closed
down 7-1/4 cents at $5.32 a bushel. The most-active July corn
contract fell 7 cents to $6.33 a bushel.
The weakness in corn weighed on wheat futures.
CBOT July soft red winter wheat dropped 3 cents to
$7.06 a bushel. Kansas City Board of Trade hard red winter wheat
futures and MGEX spring wheat closed higher, with KCBT contracts
supported by poor crop conditions and MGEX rising on planting
delays in the northern U.S. Plains.
Old-crop soybeans, supported by scant cash market supplies,
were another bright spot. But prices closed below session highs
because of news that Paraguayan and Brazilian soybeans are set
to be shipped to the United States.
Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures for July delivery
settled up 8-1/2 cents at $13.90-3/4 a bushel.
"It is the tightness in the old crop," said Anne Frick,
oilseeds analyst for Jefferies Bache. "We are running out of
supplies. Crushers are probably having some problems sourcing
beans. I think that is supporting the market."
New-crop November soybeans also fell amid the bearish
tone hanging over agricultural commodities, closing down 1/4
cent at $12.14-1/4 a bushel.
Better planting weather is expected in the U.S. Midwest over
the next week to 10 days, said Andy Karst, meteorologist for
World Weather Inc.
Traders also noted positioning ahead of the USDA's monthly
report on global supply and demand, which will be released on
U.S. corn supplies at the end of the 2013/14 crop year were
forecast at a nine-year high due to the biggest plantings since
the 1930s, analysts said ahead of the government's first
forecast for new-crop stocks.
Prices at 1:39 p.m. CDT (1839 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 675.00 -1.50 -0.2% 4.4%
CBOT soy 1479.00 15.50 1.1% 23.4%
CBOT meal 425.30 9.00 2.2% 37.5%
CBOT soyoil 48.66 -0.43 -0.9% -6.6%
CBOT wheat 696.75 -2.75 -0.4% 6.7%
CBOT rice 1507.50 -17.50 -1.2% 3.2%
EU wheat 242.00 -3.75 -1.5% 19.5%
US crude 96.52 0.89 0.9% -2.3%
Dow Jones 15,065 9 0.1% 23.3%
Gold 1472.11 20.12 1.4% -5.9%
Euro/dollar 1.3162 0.0085 0.6% 1.7%
Dollar Index 81.8800 -0.3730 -0.5% 2.1%
Baltic Freight 892 3 0.3% -48.7%
(Additional reporting by Sam Nelson; editing by Jim Marshall)