* New-crop November soy up 4.6 percent for the week
* Rains slow late soybean planting in eastern Midwest
* New-crop corn lower on profit-taking, spreading vs. beans
* Wheat mostly firm on short-covering ahead of USDA report
(Updates with closing prices; adds analyst comment)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, July 10 (Reuters) - U.S. new-crop soybean futures
rose to a nearly three-week high on Wednesday on worries about
planting delays and potentially stressful crop weather, traders
Corn futures ended mixed with new-crop December edging
lower, while wheat was mostly higher.
At the Chicago Board of Trade, new-crop November soybeans
ended up 8-1/2 cents at $12.84-3/4 per bushel. The
contract broke through its 200-day moving average at $12.84 and
peaked at $12.95, its highest level since June 20, before paring
November soy has risen 4.6 percent this week, after settling
Friday at $12.28-1/4.
September corn ended up 2 cents at $5.53-3/4 a bushel
while benchmark December fell 1/4 cent at $5.21-1/2.
September wheat rose 1-1/2 cents to $6.79.
New-crop soybeans led the way up on concern about prospects
for the U.S. harvest. Weather this summer has been mostly
favorable for the soybean crop, and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture has rated about two-thirds of the crop as good to
But the crop is developing more slowly than normal after a
cool, wet spring. And some acres have yet to be planted -
especially in the eastern Midwest, where farmers typically plant
so-called "double-crop" soybeans immediately after harvesting
winter wheat, in the same fields.
Rains have slowed the region's soft red wheat harvest, in
turn stalling soybeans. The USDA last month projected U.S.
soybean plantings at 77.7 million acres and indicated that 10
percent would be planted after another crop.
"It's getting so late in the year ... to double-crop that
soybean acreage estimates are going to be trimmed," said Ken
Smithmier, an analyst with the Hightower Group in Chicago.
"The crop is behind in a lot of areas, and we still have a
threat of an early frost. It's tough to be negative toward that
market, when you mix that in with the old-crop support that
we've had," Smithmier said.
The market is closely watching demand in China, the world's
largest soybean buyer, which imported 6.93 million tonnes of
soybeans in June, up 35.9 percent from May.
"Soybean prices have also been finding support from June's
Chinese soybean import figures," Commerzbank said. "Import
activity had long been hampered by delayed deliveries from
Brazil. These problems have now been resolved."
Supplies of old-crop soybeans remaining from the last U.S.
harvest are extremely tight, a factor that sent the front July
futures contract soaring to a contract high on Tuesday at
$16.30 a bushel. The thinly traded contract is in delivery and
expires on Friday.
However, the July plunged 21-1/2 cents on Wednesday to
settle at $15.91-3/4, a possible sign that cash markets are
starting to loosen ahead of the autumn harvest. The cash soybean
basis fell by 20 cents at a soy processing plant at Council
NEW-CROP CORN LOSES GROUND TO SOYBEANS
Old-crop U.S. corn supplies are also scarce, a factor that
lifted nearby July and September corn futures. But new-crop
December, the most active contract, fell on profit-taking
after rising 4 percent on Tuesday.
December corn also lost ground to soybeans on inter-market
spreads tied to weather worries, with forecasters predicting hot
and dry conditions later this month in the western Midwest.
"There is a feeling that if it does dry out, it is going to
hurt beans more than corn. So you've got people buying beans and
selling corn," said Roy Huckabay with the Linn Group, a Chicago
As well, traders were adjusting positions ahead of the
USDA's July 11 monthly supply/demand report, which is expected
to show smaller projected stockpiles of U.S. corn for both
2012/13 and 2013/14.
CBOT September wheat rose for a third straight session on
short-covering ahead of USDA's report and following recent sales
of U.S. wheat to China.
Prices at 3:16 p.m. CDT (2016 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 553.75 2.00 0.4% -20.7%
CBOT soy 1464.75 -3.50 -0.2% 3.2%
CBOT meal 449.70 0.80 0.2% 6.9%
CBOT soyoil 47.02 0.00 0.0% -4.4%
CBOT wheat 679.00 2.00 0.3% -12.7%
CBOT rice 1529.00 9.50 0.6% 2.9%
EU wheat 197.75 1.00 0.5% -21.0%
US crude 106.09 2.56 2.5% 15.5%
Dow Jones 15,292 -9 -0.1% 16.7%
Gold 1251.40 2.56 0.2% -25.3%
Euro/dollar 1.2889 0.0109 0.9% -2.3%
Dollar Index 84.0090 -0.5690 -0.7% 5.3%
Baltic Freight 1130 10 0.9% 61.7%
(Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Keiron Henderson, John Wallace
and Jim Marshall)