GRAIN AND SOYBEAN PRICES RISE AGAIN GLOBAL SUPPLIES LOWEST SINCE '70S

GRAIN AND SOYBEAN PRICES RISE AGAIN GLOBAL SUPPLIES LOWEST SINCE '70S

Grain and soybean prices, already at the highest in years, soared again Wednesday after a government report reminded traders of dwindling world grain stocks.

''The key is that global grain supplies are the lowest since the early 1970s," said Daniel Basse, executive vice president of AgResource Co.Weather-related problems have sparked the run-up this year in the price of grains in the United States, the world's leading grain exporter.

The global market also has been squeezed by sharp cuts in production in China and Russia as well as Canada and Australia.

At the Chicago Board of Trade on Wednesday, corn gained 6 cents a bushel to $3.23 3/4, the highest level in seven years, before easing to $3.22 1/2 in early afternoon.

Soybeans climbed up 14.75 cents a bushel to $6.63 1/2, the highest in 17 months, and were at $6.60 1/4 in afternoon trading. Wheat gained 4.25 cents to $4.88 a bushel in early trading, nearing its 15-year high of $4.96 3/4 reached late last month, but was off 1 cent at $4.82.75.

Analysts predicted that soybeans could move up to $7 to $7.50 a bushel and wheat eventually could reach $5.50 a bushel.

Triggering the latest market rally was a monthly update on U.S. production and world supply and demand released by the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.

The government agency lowered its estimate of the 1995 U.S. corn crop by 300 million bushels from last month's estimate, to 7.541 billion bushels.

Soybean production was cut 94 million bushels from last month to 2.191 billion, down from expectations for 2.200 billion bushels.