GRAINS-Soybeans hit over one-week high, U.S. old-crop supply tightens

* Corn rallies after 4-year low amid big yield forecasts

* Wheat up on bargain buying; Egypt buys Black Sea supplies (Adds closing prices)

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, July 23 (Reuters) – Front-month soybean futures rose to their highest level in more than a week on Wednesday, supported by firming U.S. cash markets as supplies of old-crop soybeans dwindle with the autumn harvest still about two months away, traders said.

Corn futures rallied after falling to a fresh four-year low and wheat followed the firm trend.

At the Chicago Board of Trade, August soybeans settled up 17 cents at $12.01 per bushel, after reaching $12.04-3/4. The most-active November contract ended up 18-3/4 cents at $10.76-1/2, rebounding after setting a contract low at $10.55.

The August contract led the early gains as domestic crushers and exporters scrambled to cover their needs for the next few weeks, until the harvest of a likely record-large U.S. crop begins in September.

A drop of about 12 percent in August futures over the last month has sidelined farmers with old-crop soybeans left to sell.

“The exporter has got boats to load, and you’ve got the farmer not selling anything. So pipeline is depleting,” said Mike Hall with Illinois brokerage MLH Futures.

Support in new-crop November stemmed from worries about dry weather potentially limiting U.S. soybean yield as the crop nears its key pod-setting phase.

“They are putting in a little bit of risk premium, in case the forecast rain event for late this week and into the weekend fails to materialize,” said Tom Fritz, a partner with EFG Group in Chicago.

The U.S. corn crop is farther along, and corn futures sagged at times amid expectations of a record yield. But bargain-buying lifted values by the close.

CBOT September corn finished up 2-1/4 cents at $3.62-1/2 per bushel after falling to $3.57-1/2, a contract low and the lowest spot corn price on continuous charts since July 2010.

Lanworth, the crop forecasting unit of Thomson Reuters, raised its estimate of the 2014 U.S. corn yield to 172.8 bushels per acre, up from 172.1 a week ago and above the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s current estimate of 165.3. Lanworth pegged U.S. corn production at a record-high 14.6 billion bushels.

CBOT September wheat rallied to close up 6-1/4 cents at $5.30-3/4 a bushel, rebounding after setting a contract low at $5.20-1/4.

Egypt’s main state wheat buyer purchased 235,000 tonnes of Russian, Romanian and Ukraine wheat at an international tender.

Scouts on an annual U.S. crop tour projected big spring wheat yields in southern North Dakota.

Prices at 4:36 p.m. CDT (2136 GMT)                  
                              LAST      NET    PCT  
                                        CHG    CHG   
 CBOT corn                  362.50     2.25   0.6% 
 CBOT soy                  1201.00    17.00   1.5%  
 CBOT meal                  391.50     9.70   2.5% 
 CBOT soyoil                 36.20     0.27   0.8% 
 CBOT wheat                 530.75     6.25   1.2% 
 (Additional reporting by Michael Hogan and Naveen Thukral;
Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)

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