GRAINS-Soybeans firm as Chinese demand stokes US shortage worries

* Soybeans extend gains into second session

* Wheat firms for first time in seven sessions

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY, May 29 (Reuters) – Chicago soybeans rose on Thursday, extending gains into a second session, as fresh orders from China added to concerns about U.S. supplies that have already been depleted by heavy exports.

Wheat rose for the first time in seven sessions as traders squared positions ahead of the end of the month, while corn edged down after gaining more than half a percent on Wednesday.

Chicago Board of Trade July soybeans rose 0.5 percent to $15.05 a bushel by 0333 GMT, having closed up 0.6 percent in the previous session.

“Soybeans are getting a boost from tight U.S. stocks,” said Andrew Woodhouse, grains analyst, Advance Trading Australasia.

“Crush margins in China have improved over the last couple of weeks, before which soybean cargoes were being diverted from South America to the U.S.”

The oilseed rallied after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Wednesday that private exporters had reported the sale of 110,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year, which starts on Sept. 1.

Exporters also reported the sale of 172,000 tonnes of U.S. soymeal to the Philippines for 2014/15. The new marketing year for soymeal starts on Oct. 1.

China has more than 5 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans on the books for 2014/15, on its way to an estimated 72 million tonnes from all suppliers for the year. It now represents about two thirds of global soybean imports.

July wheat futures rose 0.23 percent to $6.40-1/4 a bushel, having closed down slightly in the previous session.

Wheat dropped over the past six sessions as favorable weather conditions in the United States aided newly planted spring wheat and the drought-stricken winter crop.

The USDA said in its weekly crop report that U.S. winter wheat was rated 31 percent good to excellent as of May 25, up 2 percentage points from a week earlier.

July corn fell 0.16 percent to $4.71-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 0.6 percent on Thursday.

The USDA also said that corn planting was 88 percent complete as of May 25, matching analysts’ expectations as well as the five-year average.

Grains prices at 0333 GMT Contract

Last

Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat

640.25

1.50 +0.23%

-0.12%

692.58 16 CBOT corn

471.75

-0.75 -0.16%

+0.43%

497.06 31 CBOT soy

1505.00

7.25 +0.48%

+1.09%

1484.70 55 CBOT rice

$15.01 -$0.04 -0.30%

-0.56%

$15.36 25 WTI crude

$102.93

$0.21 +0.20%

-1.13%

$101.82 51 Currencies

Euro/dlr

$1.361 $0.002 +0.13%

-0.18% USD/AUD

0.928

0.004 +0.47%

+0.23% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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