* Corn, wheat post strongest gains in a month
* Weather worries in U.S., Russia fuel gains in HRW wheat
* Late-session fund rolling lifts deferred-month soybeans (Updates with late rally in new-crop soybeans, adds closing prices, adds weekly trends)
By Karl Plume
CHICAGO, June 6 (Reuters) – U.S. corn futures jumped more than 2 percent on Friday in the strongest gains in a month on technical buying and short-covering after sinking to a three-month low the previous day.
Hard red winter wheat futures surged 3 percent on concerns about adverse weather in some key production areas, including Russia’s Volga Valley and the southern U.S. Plains. The rally helped to lift soft red winter wheat from three-month lows.
Spot soybean futures fell while deferred months advanced as commodity index funds rolled their positions late in the session.
“We’ve taken significant value out of both corn and wheat,” said Jefferies Bache analyst Shawn McCambridge. “This week the interest in continuing to push this market down was starting to wane.”
Corn fell in each of the previous six sessions as benign conditions for recently planted maize have raised expectations for a record harvest this year.
Wheat has also been pressured as the northern hemisphere’s harvest neared and as U.S. supplies struggled to compete on the global market with cheaper grain from other origins.
Some traders said the recent pullback in wheat had been overdone in view of crop risks in the southern United States and Russia.
Low yields in the drought-stressed HRW wheat belt had been expected, but rains this week raised concerns about quality damage to the maturing crop. Meanwhile, hot and dry conditions stressed crops in Russia’s Volga Valley.
Chicago Board of Trade July corn rose 10 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $4.59 a bushel. It earlier slipped to $4.47, the lowest front-month price since Feb. 27, but climbed back above the key technical support level of $4.50. But corn fell 1.4 percent in the week, its fourth straight weekly decline.
CBOT July SRW wheat added 12-1/2 cents , or 2.1 percent, to $6.18-1/4 a bushel after earlier sinking to $6.03, its lowest since Feb. 28. Still, the contract fell for a fourth straight week, shedding 1.4 percent.
July HRW wheat gained 21-1/2 cents to $7.35-1/2 a bushel, a 3 percent gain that was the steepest since April 15. The contract’s 1.7 percent weekly rise was the first in a month.
CBOT July soybeans fell 3-1/2 cents to a 2-1/2 week low of $14.57 a bushel, 2.4 percent below a week ago and the steepest weekly drop in nearly three months. New-crop November soybeans gained 8-1/4 cents to $12.18-3/4 per bushel.
Commodity fund rolling riled soybean prices late in the session after futures held near previous levels for much of the day. Deutsche Bank was in the fourth day of its five-day commodity index fund roll, and the S&P GSCI fund began its five-day roll on Friday.
Traders’ attention was also turning to next week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture monthly crop production and supply and demand reports, scheduled for release on Wednesday.
Change 1Cc1 CORN JUL4
449.00 1Sc1 SOYBEANS JUL4
-3.50 1460.50 1SMc1 SOY MEAL JUL4
490.60 1BOc1 SOYBEAN OIL JUL4
38.69 1Wc1 WHEAT SRW JUL4
605.75 1RRc1 ROUGH RICE JUL4
14.08 BL2c1 M.WHEAT EUR NOV4
191.00 CLc1 LIGHT CRUDE JUL4
102.48 .DJI DJ INDU AVERAGE 16924.28
88.17 16836.11 XAU= GOLD
-0.38 1253.29 .BADI BALTIC EXCH DRY
977.00 .DXY US DOLLAR INDEX
80.37 (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Joseph Radford, Dale Hudson, Lisa Von Ahn and Andrew Hay)