GRAINS-U.S. soybean, corn and wheat futures rally on weather concerns

(Updates with closing prices, adds new analyst quote)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, April 14 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat, corn and soybean futures rallied on Wednesday, supported by concerns that a cold snap in the U.S. Midwest and Plains could hamper crop development, traders said.

Chicago Board of Trade corn gained 2.4% to hit its highest since June 2013.

Wheat futures posted the biggest increases, with CBOT soft red winter wheat futures jumped 2.9%, while K.C. hard red winter wheat rose 3.2%.

"Cold surge next week poses spotty wheat damage risk in southern one-third of the U.S. Plains; possible burn back to emerged Midwest corn," Commodity Weather Group said in a note to clients.

The weather also could cause some growers to delay their planting of corn and soybeans.

"The risks are myriad; late planting, bad germination of seed that has already been planted, burned back plants that have emerged," Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED&F Man Capital said in a client note. "Probably not a disaster, but not a sterling start to the planting season."

Chicago Board of Trade May corn futures settled up 14 cents at $5.94 a bushel and CBOT May soybeans were up 20-1/2 cents at $14.10 a bushel.

"U.S. temperatures aren't quite fitting into the 'severe' category but the current cold snap is plenty of keep enthusiasm for early corn and soybean seeding low, with conditions looking dry but cold for the next seven to 10 days or more as well," Matt Zeller, director of market information at StoneX, said in a note to clients.

CBOT May wheat was 18-1/4 cents higher at $6.48 a bushel.

Experts are predicting a dry spell in coming weeks on the European continent. The water deficit is already in place in U.S. spring wheat areas in the north of the country, French consultancy Agritel said in a note. (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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