* Rains provide U.S. corn, soy crops some relief
* Longer term forecast turns drier, raising worry about soy
* Soybeans also lifted by renewed demand from China
* Wheat mixed on U.S. winter crop harvest, spring wheat
(Rewrites throughout with U.S. market activity, adds quote,
updates prices, changes byline, changes dateline from LONDON)
CHICAGO, June 21 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures advanced
on Monday on renewed buying by China and as concerns lingered
about dry conditions in western portions of Midwest farm belt
despite scattered storms over the weekend.
Corn futures were mostly lower as rain in the central corn
belt boosted crop prospects, while wheat was mixed amid winter
crop harvest pressure and worries about the drought-hit spring
"We got a lot of rain over the weekend in some areas. While
that's certainly beneficial, the longer term forecasts - the
6-10 day, the 10-14 day - have gotten a bit drier, especially in
the western half of the corn belt," said Ted Seifried, chief ag
strategist with the Zaner Group.
"The rain was probably more beneficial for the corn. The
beans are going to need more rain later on," he said.
Grain traders are closely watching Midwest weather forecasts
as drought has been creeping into western and northern
production areas, including in major producer Iowa.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is due to update
its weekly crop condition ratings later on Monday, with
analysts, on average, expecting the share of corn and soybeans
rated good to excellent to drop by 2 percentage points due to
stressful Midwest weather last week.
Soybean futures also drew support from USDA confirmation on
Monday of renewed buying by China, first reported by Reuters on
Friday, the country's largest scale purchases in 4-1/2 months.
Chicago Board of Trade July soybeans were up 17 cents
at $14.13 a bushel by 12:24 p.m. CDT (1724 GMT), while new-crop
November soybeans were up 1 cent at $13.14 a bushel.
July corn gained 2-3/4 cents to $6.58 a bushel, while
new-crop December fell 8-1/2 cents to $5.57-3/4 a bushel.
CBOT July soft red winter wheat was up 3-1/4 cents at $6.66
(Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Colin Packham
in Canberra, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Steve