* Intense heat, wind in southern U.S. Plains stresses wheat
* Trade monitoring unrest in key Ukraine port city of Odessa
* Corn higher as wheat soars, USDA planting progress awaited
* Soy lower after Canada reports record-high canola stocks (Recasts with U.S. trading, adds quotes; changes byline, dateline, previous PARIS/SYDNEY)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, May 5 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures jumped more than 2 percent on Monday as scorching temperatures in the southern Plains deepened fears about weather damage to the U.S. hard red winter wheat crop.
The gains in wheat helped lift corn after heavy losses last week, but soybeans fell after the Canadian government reported record-high Canadian stocks of canola, a competing oilseed.
At the Chicago Board of Trade as of 12:01 p.m. CDT (1701 GMT), most-active July wheat was up 16-3/4 cents at $7.32-3/4 per bushel. Kansas City July hard red winter wheat was up 13-1/2 cents at $8.35-1/4 after touching $8.43, its highest level since December 2012.
July corn was up 7-1/2 cents at $5.07 a bushel while July soybeans were down 8-1/4 at $14.62-1/2 a bushel.
Wheat posted the biggest gain after weekend temperatures in parts of Kansas, the top U.S. wheat state, topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), coupled with high winds. Crops there were already reeling after months of drought.
“The crop came into this heat already stressed from cold weather and stressed from an ongoing drought,” said Sterling Smith, a futures specialist with Citigroup in Chicago.
“The issues with the heat were exacerbated by high winds, and there were reports of poorly developed crops being blown away in parts of eastern Colorado,” Smith said.
An annual crop tour of Kansas on Thursday estimated the poorest production prospects in more than a decade, while Informa Economics slashed its U.S. winter wheat crop estimate by 120 million bushels to 1.496 billion bushels in a client note on Friday.
The market awaited weekly crop ratings from the U.S. Department of Agriculture later on Monday for a fresh indication of the impact of the weather. Analysts expected the USDA to rate 31 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop as good to excellent, down 2 percentage points from a week earlier.
The USDA is scheduled to publish its first 2014-15 supply-and-demand forecasts on Friday for both U.S. and world crops.
Rising tensions in Ukraine lent additional support to the grains complex. Ukraine’s interior minister said on Monday he had drafted a new special forces unit into the southern port city of Odessa after the “outrageous” failure of police to tackle pro-Russian separatists in a weekend of violence that killed dozens.
But market worries over the situation in Ukraine was tempered by the fact that trading and port activity appeared to be continuing normally, traders said.
CORN RISES, SOY RETREATS
Corn followed wheat higher, rebounding after a selloff last week briefly sent prices below psychological support at $5 a bushel.
Additional support stemmed from reminders of strong export demand. The USDA reported export inspections of U.S. corn in the latest week at 1.239 million tonnes, within a range of trade estimates.
Traders also noted concern about a slow start to planting in the United States, the world’s top supplier. The USDA’s weekly progress report later on Monday should show corn planting at 33 percent complete, according to a Reuters poll of 14 analysts.
A week ago, corn planting stood at 19 percent. The five-year average for early May is 47 percent.
“The trade was a little bit surprised that the (projected) planting progress was not higher, given how much producers are starting to move forward,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodities Analytics in Atchison, Kansas.
Soybeans turned lower after Statistics Canada reported March 31 stocks of canola, a competing oilseed, at a record-high 9.02 million tonnes.
Also bearish, the USDA pegged export inspections of U.S. soybeans in the latest week at 99,502 tonnes, below a range of trade estimates for 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes.
Talk of South American soy cargoes being imported into the United States added pressure.
“Guys in Chicago are saying there are upwards of 12 cargoes of South American beans headed this way, with another two to four cargoes being penciled in as well,” Zuzolo said.
Prices at 1211 CDT (1711 GMT):
CHG CHG PCT CHG CBOT corn
9.00 1.8 20.5 CBOT soy
-6.25 -0.4 11.6 CBOT meal
9.5 CBOT soyoil
6.1 CBOT wheat
18.25 2.6 21.3 CBOT rice
0.2 EU wheat
3.6 U.S. crude
0.7 Dow Jones
-15 -0.1 -0.5 Gold
1.3875 0.0005 0.0
1.6 Dollar Index
79.4890 -0.0270 0.0 -0.7 Baltic Freight
24 2.4 -55.3 (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; editing by G Crosse, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Keiron Henderson)