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Wheat eases after 3-week high, soybeans stay firm

PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago wheat futures fell on Monday as rain relief in dry U.S. growing belts encouraged the market to consolidate after weather worries drove prices to a three-week high.

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PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago wheat futures fell on Monday as rain relief in dry U.S. growing belts encouraged the market to consolidate after weather worries drove prices to a three-week high.

Traders were awaiting U.S. government crop data later on Monday to see if weekend rain helped wheat; poor ratings for wheat in the previous report had fueled last week's rally.

Corn edged lower in step with wheat. But soybeans extended modest gains from Friday as solid demand from top soybean buyer China and concerns about dry planting conditions in Brazil offset broader worries about Chinese growth.

Chicago Board of Trade December wheat was down 0.8 percent at $5.18 a bushel by 1223 GMT. It earlier edged higher to trade close to Friday's three-week peak of $5.23-1/2, before falling back.

"Wheat prices had a strong run amid rising weather concerns," ANZ bank said in a note to clients.

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The risk that pre-harvest rain could damage quality in Australia's wheat crop was increasing doubts about yields after a dry end to the growing season. In Ukraine, a senior state weather forecaster said that drought could sharply reduce that country's 2016 wheat harvest.

However, in the United States light weekend rain reached some dry zones in the central Plains and southwest Midwest, the Commodity Weather Group said in a daily update.

"Showers later this week are still limited but should provide the drier wheat areas of the Plains/Midwest with some additional moisture, improving late fall growth," it said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly crop progress report due after the market close on Monday will provide a further indication on the condition of U.S. wheat, as well as progress in harvesting corn and soybeans.

CBOT December corn fell 0.6 percent to $3.80 to give up similar-sized gains from Friday. November soybeans inched up a quarter of a cent to $8.84 a bushel.

Soybean planting in Brazil remained behind the historical average even after isolated rainfall in the center-west, analyst firm AgRural said on Friday.

China's soybean imports are likely to reach 22 million tons in the fourth quarter, up 18 percent on a year ago, an official think-tank estimate published on Friday said.

The sustained demand has sheltered the soybean market from worries about Chinese growth affecting other commodities.

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Crude oil fell on Monday as weak Chinese economic data reinforced concern over its slowing economy slowing, just as Russia reported record-high production in October.

Related Topics: SOYBEANSCROPSWHEAT
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