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Corn, soy ease on benign U.S. weather, wheat at 6-week low

CHICAGO - U.S. corn and soybean futures slid for a second straight session on Monday as favorable weather in the U.S. Midwest eased crop concerns, while fresh worries about flagging Chinese growth led to a broad retreat in commodity markets. Whea...

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CHICAGO - U.S. corn and soybean futures slid for a second straight session on Monday as favorable weather in the U.S. Midwest eased crop concerns, while fresh worries about flagging Chinese growth led to a broad retreat in commodity markets.

Wheat lost ground to touch a new six-week low as the prospect of another season of ample global production weighed on prices.

Broader commodities prices slumped, with some hitting multi-year lows, on worries about a glut of supply facing weak demand in China after factory activity in the world's top consumer of raw materials shrank more than expected last month.

"As gold and copper and crude oil slide, just due to how the weightings of the commodity indexes are set, that's going to impact grains," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.

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"And the predominant thought is that the U.S. crops are in good shape heading into the USDA's August report," he said.

Chicago Board Of Trade August soybeans fell 3 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $9.77-3/4 a bushel by 11:10 a.m. CDT (1610 GMT), while September corn lost 2-1/4 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $3.68-3/4 a bushel.

September wheat slid 2-1/2 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $4.96-3/4 a bushel, after earlier hitting its lowest level since June 19 at $4.90-1/2.

After torrential rain earlier in the season had raised the risk that plants would be damaged and some soybean plantings might be abandoned, conditions last month improved and the weather outlook for early August was also moderate.

The condition of the U.S. soybean crop likely improved during the past week while corn and spring wheat conditions held steady, according to analysts polled by Reuters ahead of a weekly USDA report due out at 3 p.m. CDT. Midwest soybeans are entering the crucial flowering stage of development.

Better U.S. corn crop conditions have tempered concerns about drought damage in the European Union, where the EU's executive body cut by almost 3 million tonnes its monthly forecast for the corn harvest.

Wheat is being weighed down by tepid demand for U.S. shipments amid plentiful global supplies and cheaper offers from competitors in Europe and the Black Sea region.

Russia's agriculture minister said the country could harvest 101.5 million tonnes of grain this year if weather is favorable, compared with a previous forecast for at least 100 million tonnes.

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Ukraine expects its grain exports to rise this season to 36 million tonnes, its agriculture minister said.

Related Topics: SOYBEANSWHEATCROPSCORN
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