* Corn market “enjoying a renaissance” with gains -analyst
* Rally expected to fade due to beneficial crop weather
* Wheat advances as traders cover short positions (Updates with U.S. trading; changes byline, dateline, previous SYDNEY/LONDON)
By Tom Polansek
CHICAGO, Aug 15 (Reuters) – U.S. new-crop corn futures rose on Friday and looked poised to record the biggest weekly gain in four months as a lower-than-expected official crop forecast supported prices.
Soybean futures slipped, while wheat advanced.
Corn was poised to record a weekly gain of nearly 2.5 percent, the biggest rally since April 4, drawing support from lower-than-expected U.S. production and yield estimates issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday.
“Corn is enjoying a renaissance this week,” said Sterling Smith, futures specialist at Citi in Chicago. “The slow summertime activity, combined with the USDA’s modest hike in yields, is giving the market a brief boost.”
Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures were up 4-1/4 cents at $3.77-3/4 a bushel at 11 a.m. CDT (1600 GMT). The new-crop contract has advanced for four consecutive sessions this week for the first time since Feb. 12.
The gains will likely be short-lived, however, because U.S. farmers are projected to harvest a record crop, traders said. Many analysts expect the USDA to increase its official yield estimate in the coming months due to favorable crop weather.
The USDA, in a monthly report on Tuesday, put the U.S. corn harvest at a record 14.032 billion bushels, below analysts’ consensus estimate of 14.253 billion, and the soybean crop at a record 3.82 billion bushels.
November soybeans futures fell 3 cents to $10.53 a bushel. Soybeans hit a contract low in the previous session before closing up slightly.
December wheat futures rose 11 cents to $5.63-3/4 a bushel.
“Wheat is finding strength along with the rest of the grain space as some short-covering is being seen lifting values in quiet trade,” Smith said.
Prices at 10:57 a.m. CDT (1557 GMT) LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 366.50 4.50 1.2% -13.2% CBOT soy 1095.75 -2.50 -0.2% -16.5% CBOT meal 384.60 2.20 0.6% -12.1% CBOT soyoil 33.01 -0.50 -1.5% -15.0% CBOT wheat 548.75 11.50 2.1% -9.3% CBOT rice 1279.50 -6.00 -0.5% -17.5% EU wheat 173.00 2.25 1.3% -17.2% US crude 96.69 1.1 1.2% -1.8% Dow Jones 16,584 -130 -0.8% 0.0% Gold 1307.84 -4.90 -0.4% 8.5% Euro/dollar 1.3390 0.0028 0.2% -1.9% Dollar Index 81.4540 -0.1340 -0.2% 1.8% Baltic Freight 1015 73 7.8% -55.4% (Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney and Sarah McFarlane in London; Editing by William Hardy and Peter Galloway)