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Corn jumps to near one-month top, set to finish week 1.5 pct higher

U.S. corn futures rose to a near one-month high on Friday as flash flooding in a major North American producing region stoked fears of plating delays, with the grain poised for a 1.5 percent weekly gain.

Soybeans edged higher, while wheat was unchanged. The most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade added 0.6 percent to 3.78-1/2 a bushel by 0235 GMT, near the session high of $3.78-3/4 a bushel – the highest since Feb. 26. “Parts of the U.S. Midwest are looking at planting delays because of heavy rain. And that might shunt a few corn acres into beans,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday that the extensive flooding in Nebraska and Iowa would persist in the wider region through May and become more dire as water flows downstream.

Export sales for corn and wheat last week were in line with trade expectations, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data released on Thursday. The most-active soybean futures were up 0.1 percent at $9.11-3/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.5 percent on Thursday.

Soybeans are poised to finish the week little changed after closing up 1.5 percent last week. Analysts highlighted uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade talks weighing on the beans. The USDA said soybean sales were well below expectations, with minimal reported sales to China.

The most active wheat futures were unchanged at $4.66-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 1.8 percent on Thursday. Wheat is poised to finish the week 1 percent higher after closing up 5 percent last week. A heavy snowfall and an expected flooding in the U.S. northern Plains spring wheat belt, particularly in top producer North Dakota, have also raised the risk of delays in planting the 2019 crop. Seeding normally begins in April.

Grains prices at 0242 GMT

 Contract       Last   Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg   MA 30  RSI 
 CBOT wheat   466.75     0.25   +0.05%       +0.43%  473.61    59
 CBOT corn    378.50     2.25   +0.60%       +1.88%  375.40    74
 CBOT soy     911.75     1.25   +0.14%       +0.63%  912.19    66
 CBOT rice     11.05   -$0.04   -0.32%       +1.01%  $10.60    77
 WTI crude     59.81   -$0.17   -0.28%       -0.03%  $56.64    79
 Euro/dlr     $1.137   $0.000   -0.03%       -0.36%              
 USD/AUD      0.7100   -0.001   -0.15%       -0.21%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential

Source: Reuters (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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