* December corn jumps 2 pct to highest since May 3
* Expectations of planting delay boost prices
* November soy at 2-mth high on Midwest rains
* Wheat faces pressure from favourable crop weather in
(Adds quotes, detail)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. corn climbed more than 2
percent on Tuesday to its highest in almost four weeks, while
soybean prices rose to a near two-month peak on expectations of
planting delays across the U.S. Midwest following heavy rains.
Wheat prices edged lower, falling for the second session on
pressure from favourable crop weather in key exporting
Investors in corn and soybean futures are taking positions
ahead of a weekly report on planting progress from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture later on Tuesday.
Analysts said heavy rains over the weekend had raised the
threat of further delays in seeding in the United States,
although showers are likely to benefit newly planted corn.
"Some reports suggest that the rain is actually going to
benefit the corn crop in the Midwest, while others suggest it
might have slowed planting more than desired," said Luke
Mathews, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
"I guess we are going to get a feel of that in tonight's
Chicago Board of Trade new-crop December corn rose as
much as 2.2 percent to $5.48-1/2 a bushel, the highest since May
3. New-crop November soybeans climbed as far as 0.9
percent to their highest since early April at $12.58-3/4 a
July wheat was down 0.2 percent at $6.96-1/4 a
U.S. growers finished planting 71 percent of the corn crop
in the week ending May 19, while soybean planting was 24-percent
complete. Corn planted after mid-May typically has lower yields
due to delayed pollination.
The wheat market faced headwinds from favourable crop
weather in top suppliers such as Australia and the Black Sea
Ukraine's 2013 wheat harvest is likely to rise to 19.3
million tonnes from 15.8 million tonnes in 2012 due to better
weather, a senior weather forecaster said.
In Australia, the world's second largest exporter, rains
across the east coast grain belt over the past week have eased
Analysts said exporters from the Black Sea region were
making aggressive offers, adding pressure to U.S. prices.
"In addition to benign weather in key producing regions, we
have seen quite aggressive offers from the Black Sea region,"
said Mathews. "The offers are significantly cheaper than
Australian Canadian, U.S. and European offers."
Still, the decline in U.S. wheat futures was limited by
large Chinese purchases.
China bought as much as 650,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat last
week prompted by falling prices. That was the second large-scale
purchase of U.S. wheat by the world's top wheat producer this
year, bringing its total buying to about 1.5 million tonnes, the
China National Grain and Oils Information Centre said.
Prices at 0259 GMT
Contract Last Change Pct chg MA 30 RSI
CBOT wheat 696.75 -0.75 -0.11% 867.63 51
CBOT corn 659.75 2.50 +0.38% 763.90 47
CBOT soy 1484.00 7.75 +0.52% 1580.01 54
CBOT rice $15.75 $0.03 +0.19% $15.49 75
WTI crude $93.69 -$0.46 -0.49% $89.10 42
Euro/dlr $1.290 $0.061
USD/AUD 0.962 -0.093
Most active contracts
Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
RSI 14, exponential
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)