GRAINS-Wheat up for second session on dry weather in Europe, U.S.

* Wheat gains on concerns over dry weather in northern hemisphere * Chicago soybean futures edge higher, corn little changed (Updates prices, adds quote) By Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide PARIS, April 14 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures gained for a second straight session on Wednesday, with prices underpinned by concerns about dry soils limiting U.S. and European production prospects. Soybeans gained more ground, while corn was little changed. "We think there is cause for concern but are less sure that there has been a substantial damage to crops," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "The coming days thus can see those worries worsen or recede." The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) had added 1% to $6.37 bushel by 1000 GMT. Soybeans rose 0.6% to $13.97-1/4 a bushel, while corn was little changed at $5.85 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. "The weather in France remains closely monitored," Agritel said. "Weather forecasts for the coming weeks point to a risk of water deficit, which adds to the firmness of prices, including on the 2021 crop." Wheat prices have also been underpinned by a rally in corn futures. Strong demand from China is supporting feed grain prices. China's imports of soybeans, as well as grains like corn and wheat, soared in the first quarter, boosted by strong demand from the livestock sector, data from customs showed on Tuesday. Soybean imports almost doubled in March alone year-on-year, according to customs data, as cargoes of beans from top exporter Brazil cleared customs after delays. Meanwhile, first-quarter corn and wheat shipments jumped on elevated domestic corn prices amid a supply shortage, the data showed. Brazilian production of ethanol from corn rose 58% in the newly passed year as dozens of recently built plants in the country's grain heartland ramped up production, and analysts see an annual increase of around 25% in the new season. The U.S. soybean processing pace jumped in March following a smaller-than-expected crush the prior month, propelled in part by strong demand for vegetable oils to make biofuel, according to analysts polled ahead of a National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due Thursday. NOPA members, who handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, were estimated to have crushed 179.179 million bushels of soybeans in March, according to the average of estimates from 11 analysts. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean, wheat and soyoil futures contracts and net sellers of CBOT soymeal on Tuesday, traders said. Prices at 1000 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Move 2020 Pct Move CBOT wheat 637.00 7.25 1.15 640.50 -0.55 CBOT corn 585.00 5.00 0.86 484.00 20.87 CBOT soy 1397.25 7.75 0.56 1311.00 6.58 Paris wheat 202.75 1.00 0.50 213.25 -4.92 Paris maize 219.25 1.00 0.46 219.00 0.11 Paris rapeseed 507.50 2.25 0.45 418.25 21.34 WTI crude oil 61.22 1.04 1.73 48.52 26.17 Euro/dlr 1.20 0.00 0.08 1.2213 -2.11 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Kirsten Donovan)

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