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U.S. wheat falls on profit-taking; corn, soy traders eye weather

CHICAGO - U.S. wheat futures weakened to their lowest level in more than two weeks on Wednesday as investors quickly beat back overnight gains with a round of profit-taking.

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Agweek file photo.

CHICAGO - U.S. wheat futures weakened to their lowest level in more than two weeks on Wednesday as investors quickly beat back overnight gains with a round of profit-taking.

Corn and soybean futures were close to unchanged, although the weakness in wheat cast a bearish tone over corn. The market was closely monitoring weather forecasts to gauge the impact that an upcoming heat wave may have on Midwest crop development.

The latest forecast calls for the worst of the heat - temperatures are expected to top out at 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius) - to hit the Corn Belt for a short period of time, limiting the stress on corn.

Additionally, longer-term forecasts are seen as beneficial to the soybean crop, with moderating temperatures and ample rain expected in August.

"Some corn on the Plains will be damaged by this week's heat wave, but overall yields still look above average," Bryce Knorr, senior grain market analyst at Farm Futures, said in a note. "Prospects for less threatening weather in August, when (soybean) yields are made, continues to put the market back on its heels."

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At 10:48 a.m. CDT (1548 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade September soft red winter wheat futures were down 5 cents at $4.13 a bushel. The most-active contract hit its lowest level since July 5.

November soybean futures were up 1-1/4 cents at $10.29 a bushel and December corn was off 1-1/4 cents at $3.47-1/4 a bushel.

Crop concerns limited the declines in corn while global demand added support to soybeans.

"U.S. crop ratings were good this week, but a lot can still change with adverse weather, and I expect the market to continue its focus on U.S. weather forecasts for the coming weeks," said Frank Rijkers, agrifood economist at ABN AMRO Bank. "The world market needs a substantial U.S. soybean harvest after soybean crop damage in South America this season."

Prospects for a pick-up in exports also kept the corn drop in check.

Argentine grain truckers started an open-ended strike on Monday over transport prices. Corn exports from Argentina, the world's No. 3 supplier, could slow in the days ahead if farmers and striking truck drivers fail to reach a deal, an exporters' organisation said. 

Related Topics: CORNSOYBEANSCROPSWHEAT
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