REFILE-GRAINS-Wheat firms as USDA confirms slow harvest pace

(Corrects spelling of "confirms" in headline)
    * Wheat harvest lags, concern over short-term supplies
    * Spring wheat planting rate behind historical average
    * Soybeans firm as USDA confirms continued planting delays

    By Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose on
Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the
harvest pace is well behind schedule, raising concerns of a
short-term tightening of supplies.
    Chicago Board of Trade July wheat rose 0.66 percent to
$6.85 a bushel by 0324 GMT, having closed little changed in the
previous session.
    "The market has realised that there is a lack of progress in
wheat harvesting and development," said Joyce Liu, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. "Winter wheat harvesting severely lagged last year's pace and the average of the last five-years' pace." New-crop December corn rose 0.32 percent to $5.40-1/4 a bushel, while November soy firmed 0.47 percent to $12.91-1/2 a bushel. USDA CROP REPORT SUPPORTS The U.S. winter wheat harvest was 11 percent complete by Sunday, up from 5 percent a week earlier but behind the five-year average of 25 percent, the USDA said. The USDA said spring wheat planting progress has lifted from 71 percent to 84 percent, yet remains significantly behind the five-year average. Planting of spring wheat was slowed by wet weather across the U.S. wheat belt last week, though this aided crop conditions. The USDA said spring wheat ratings improved with 68 percent of the crop rated good to excellent, up from 62 percent a week earlier. Corn drew some support from wheat, but was also underpinned by the USDA crop condition report. The USDA said 64 percent of the corn crop in the world's biggest producer was rated in good or excellent condition, up from 63 percent a week earlier. The USDA figure fell slightly below market expectations.
The corn crop was 92 percent emerged, lagging the five-year average of 97 percent. The wet weather across much of the Midwest continued to delay soybean planting. Soybean planting progress reached 85 percent by Sunday, the USDA said, up from 71 percent a week earlier but behind the five-year average of 91 percent. Meteorologists said crop weather for the coming week looks favorable, with isolated showers aiding crop development. Grains prices at 0324 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 685.00 4.50 +0.66% +0.62% 696.61 41 CBOT corn 540.25 1.75 +0.32% +1.36% 552.13 60 CBOT soy 1516.00 3.50 +0.23% -0.03% 1481.00 49 CBOT rice $16.34 $0.02 +0.09% -1.00% $15.62 69 WTI crude $97.79 $0.02 +0.02% -0.06% $95.24 73 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.336 -$0.001 -0.09% +0.07% USD/AUD 0.951 -0.003 -0.37% -0.59% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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