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GRAINS-Corn holds at highest since 2013, soybeans hit $15 on supply strains

    * U.S. cold, Brazil drought raises doubts about corn harvests
    * Big, timely crops needed after China imports eroded supply
    * Soybeans hit new 7-year high above $15 in oilseed surge
    * Wheat also extends gains on weather worries, corn spillover

 (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline)
    By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral
    PARIS/SINGAPORE, April 22 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures gained more
ground on Thursday, with prices holding around eight-year highs, as cold weather
in the United States and dryness in Brazil raised doubts about whether next
harvests will replenish declining stocks.
    Soybeans breached the $15 a bushel threshold to set another near seven-year
high, as concern over U.S. planting added to tensions across oilseed markets.
    Wheat also extended gains to approach a near seven-year peak, supported by
unfavourable weather in North America and the prospect of high corn prices
boosting demand for wheat in livestock feed.
    The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) May corn contract was up 1.0% at
$6.32 a bushel by 1146 GMT, having earlier climbed to $6.37-1/2, the highest
front-month price since mid-2013.
    "This (rally) is because corn is in short supply and is likely to remain so
in 2021/22," Commerzbank said in a note. "There seems to be no end to the news
to this effect."
    Cold weather this week in the United States could slow the germination of
newly seeded corn, while showers in the Midwest forecast for next week could
slow ongoing planting.
    In Brazil, developing drought in southern Brazil was adding to question
marks over the country's heavily exported second corn crop, after earlier
planting delays.
    On the demand side, a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
attache in Beijing estimated China's corn imports for 2020/21 at 28 million
tonnes, above the USDA's official estimate of 24 million.
    China, which has been grappling with high prices and falling inventories of
corn, issued guidelines on Wednesday recommending a cut to corn and soymeal in
pig and poultry feed.
    Chinese buyers are thought to have purchased at least half a million tonnes
of new-crop French wheat for shipment over July-September, which may at least
partly be used in feed, traders said.
    The most active CBOT wheat futures added 1.2% to $6.82-3/4 a bushel.
    CBOT soybeans were up 1.2% at $14.96-3/4 a bushel, after earlier
reaching another highest since June 2014 at $15.04-1/2.
    Support from low U.S. soybean inventories was being amplified by tensions in
related oilseed and vegetable oil markets. 
    The CBOT front-month soybean oil contract extended a rally to a near
13-year high of 61.79 cents per lb, while palm oil reached a one-month
peak.

    
 Prices at 1139 GMT                                                 
                               Last  Change    Pct      End  Ytd Pct
                                              Move     2020     Move
  CBOT wheat                 682.75    7.75   1.15   640.50     6.60
  CBOT corn                  612.25    5.75   0.95   484.00    26.50
  CBOT soy                  1496.75   17.25   1.17  1311.00    14.17
  Paris wheat May            236.50    5.00   2.16   210.50    12.35
  Paris maize Jun            231.50    2.50   1.09   198.75    16.48
  Paris rape May             587.75   26.00   4.63   412.00    42.66
  WTI crude oil               60.99   -0.36  -0.59    48.52    25.70
  Euro/dlr                     1.21    0.00   0.16   1.2100    -0.40
 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris
 futures in euros per tonne
 
    
    
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