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Corn drops for 3rd session as U.S. rains boost crop prospects; wheat firm


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SINGAPORE — Chicago corn futures lost more ground on Thursday as forecasts for rains in dry parts of the U.S. Midwest raised hopes of a bumper crop.

Wheat edged up as the market awaited Egyptian wheat purchase negotiations as well as talks on a possible deal to resume sea grain shipments from war-torn Ukraine.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) fell 0.7% to $5.85-3/4 a bushel, as of 0223 GMT and soybeans lost 0.3% to $13.28 a bushel.

Wheat gained marginally to $8.19-3/4 a bushel.

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Corn fell as the market focused on weather forecasts for the United States, where rains expected next week were seen easing some of the stress on crops from a hot spell that has scorched the southern Plains and extended into the southern Midwest.

July is the key weather month for the development of the U.S. corn crop, while August is more important for soybeans.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said weekly production of corn-based ethanol rose last week to 1.030 million barrels per day, the first increase in five weeks, and stockpiles fell slightly.

In the wheat market, traders awaited results of potential wheat purchases by Egypt, the top global importer of the food grain. An estimated 15 trading companies are believed to be taking part in direct negotiations with Egypt’s state grains buyer GASC on the purchase of an undisclosed volume of wheat, traders said in initial assessments.

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Insurers will only be willing to cover ships sailing through a proposed corridor to get Ukrainian grain out if there are arrangements for international navy escorts and a clear strategy to deal with sea mines, underwriters and brokers say.

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are expected to sign a deal later this week aimed at resuming the shipping of grain from Ukraine across the Black Sea.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, soyoil, corn and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday and net buyers of wheat futures, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V)



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