* Corn sags on expectations of record planting report
* New-crop soybeans weak; old-crop surges
* Wheat prices hit lowest since April 2 before short
(Recasts, updates with closing prices, adds new analyst quote)
By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, May 20 (Reuters) - U.S. old-crop soybean futures
gained 1.1 percent on Monday as investors bought the front-month
contract and sold new-crop offerings on expectations for
plentiful supplies after the U.S. harvest in the fall, traders
Corn futures eased due to a pick-up in planting around the
U.S. Midwest during the past week while wheat closed higher
after trading lower for much of the day. Traders covered short
positions in wheat after prices hit their lowest level in nearly
The gains in old-crop soybeans were keyed by continued
tightness in supplies on the cash market despite a noticeable
bump in farmer selling last week.
"There are no physical soybeans around," said Greg Wagner,
president of GWX-Ag Advisors. "That is the tale of the tape.
It's a reflection of what is going on in the physical market."
Analysts were expecting a U.S. Agriculture Department report
on Friday afternoon to show that farmers matched their biggest
planting week ever last week, seeding 34.1 million acres,
according to a Reuters poll.
The recent planting progress soothed growers' concerns about
being able to seed all their intended corn acreage, which may
have caused them to sell old-crop corn they had been holding in
storage bins during the delays, said Garret Toay, risk
management consultant at Toay Commodities Futures Group in Des
The country movement was putting some pressure on the
front-month corn contract, Toay said.
CBOT July corn ended down 3-1/4 cents at $6.49-1/2 a
bushel. CBOT July wheat was up 2 cents at $6.85-1/4 a
CBOT July soybeans were 16 cents higher at $14.64-1/2
a bushel. The new-crop November soybean contract closed
3-1/4 cents lower at $12.25 a bushel.
Tight U.S. stocks of soybeans in the country allowed traders
to push the bull spread -- the difference between the
front-month July contract and the new-crop November, to its
highest level ever. The spread gained 19-1/4 cents on Monday.
More rain was expected in the U.S. Midwest this week, which
would delay the tail end of corn planting, although some
analysts were viewing the forecast as bearish as it would
benefit the crop already in the ground.
"It's going to be slow going. Already the west is seeing 1.0
to 1.5 inches in a widespread area and that will spread into the
eastern Midwest early this week," said John Dee, meteorologist
for Global Weather Monitoring.
Dee said the rains would continue into mid-week followed by
a few days of drier weather, but more rain is expected Saturday
through Tuesday with the heaviest amounts in roughly the
northern half of the Midwest.
Prices at 2:05 p.m. CDT (1905 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 649.50 -3.25 -0.5% 0.5%
CBOT soy 1464.50 16.00 1.1% 22.2%
CBOT meal 435.30 7.20 1.7% 40.7%
CBOT soyoil 49.20 -0.32 -0.7% -5.5%
CBOT wheat 685.25 -5.25 -0.8% 5.0%
CBOT rice 1517.50 -6.00 -0.4% 3.9%
EU wheat 203.00 -3.25 -1.6% 0.2%
US crude 96.70 0.68 0.7% -2.2%
Dow Jones 15,345 -10 -0.1% 25.6%
Gold 1388.94 30.24 2.2% -11.2%
Euro/dollar 1.2895 0.0084 0.7% -0.4%
Dollar Index 83.7500 -0.5020 -0.6% 4.5%
Baltic Freight 836 -5 -0.6% -51.9%
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel,
rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb.
(Additional reporting by Sam Nelson in Chicago; editing by Jim
Marshall and Chizu Nomiyama)