GRAINS-Corn hovers near 7-1/2 year high on rising Chinese imports
Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline
By Gus Trompiz and Colin Packham
PARIS/CANBERRA, Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures were little changed on Friday near a 7-1/2 year high as traders awaited further indications on rising Chinese imports and mixed crop prospects in South America.
Soybeans edged higher as traders monitored Brazil's soybean harvest which is being slowed down by rains but still widely expected to yield a record volume.
Wheat rose, recouping some of its losses this week as traders grappled with the potential impact of Russia's plans for an ongoing export tax from June. nL1N2KA0KS
Price movements were limited as grain markets turned their attention towards next week's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) world crop report as a gauge of tightening supplies.
The most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade Cv1 were down 0.1% at $5.49-1/4 a bushel by 1209 GMT. On Thursday, the contract reached $5.58, its highest level since June 2013.
CBOT soybeans Sv1 ticked up 0.1% to $13.74 a bushel, while wheat Wv1 was 0.8% higher at $6.42-3/4 a bushel.
"The market is looking to get through the season with any further scathing," Michael Magdovitz, commodity analyst at Rabobank, said.
"Right now, the situation seems relatively demure, with Brazilian soybean harvest in progress, winter wheat in dormancy and corn seeing good albeit late planting prospects in South America."
Last week's announcement of multi-million tonne sales of U.S. corn to China heightened concern about mounting Chinese demand straining U.S. and global supplies. nFWN2K417B
Rain has been slowing Brazil's soybean harvest and subsequent planting for its second corn crop, but forecasters are still expecting bumper crops. nS0N2J306F nL1N2KA16A
In Argentina, though, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange on Thursday cut its 2020/21 corn crop forecast by 1 million tonnes to 46 million tonnes, citing lower-than-expected yields caused by dry weather. nL1N2KA2BT
Surging grain imports by China for livestock feed has made the market sensitive to any potential setback in South American harvests, as U.S. stockpiles are whittled down.
"The China feed puzzle continues to dominate market thinking," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Prices at 1209 GMT
Ytd Pct Move
CBOT wheat Wv1
CBOT corn Cv1
CBOT soy Sv1
Paris wheat Mar BL2H1
Paris maize Mar EMAH1
Paris rape May COMK1
WTI crude oil CLc1
Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra
Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Jane Merriman)