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News, North America

Corn, soybeans lower on the week as traders eye long-term weather

* Corn, soy lower on conflicted U.S. weather scenario

* Wheat flat, gives up some of last week’s strong gains (Updates with closing prices, weekly changes)

By Christopher Walljasper

CHICAGO, July 23 (Reuters) – Chicago corn and soybean futures slipped on Friday, pressured by extended forecasts calling for cooler weather into August, though hot, dry weather in the coming week across the U.S. Midwest underpinned prices.

Wheat ended lower as concerns over unfavorable weather in key exporting countries countered pressure from corn and soybeans.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) lost 18-1/4 cents to $5.43 per bushel, losing 1.6% for the week.

Soybeans fell 10-1/2 cents to $13.51-3/4, ending 2.8% lower on the week.

Wheat lost 8-1/4 cents to $6.84 per bushel, losing 1.23% for the week.

Mixed weather forecasts kept corn losses capped, as recent dryness could erode crop conditions when the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports weekly ratings on Monday afternoon.

“Forecasts for the next 10 days are still pretty hot and dusty. But there are some indications for a potential change in the 11-14-day forecasts,” said Jack Scoville, market analyst at The Price Futures Group. “It’s the uncertainty that’s creating a little bit of selling.”

Weaker export demand has added pressure, as international buyers are deterred by higher shipping costs.

“It’s something we hear from Chinese buyers every time we talk to them, complaining more about high ocean freight rates,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at StoneX.

China’s soybean imports are set to slow sharply in late 2021 from a record first-half tally, confounding expectations for sustained growth from the top global buyer and denting market sentiment just as U.S. farmers look to sell their new crop.

Dry weather in top wheat exporters Russia and North America is supporting prices.

Russia’s agriculture ministry said yields from the harvest of the country’s wheat crop averaged 3.45 tonnes per hectare as of July 20, down from 3.47 tonnes a year earlier.

Tight wheat supplies have livestock producers considering ration changes.

“There had been a lot of wheat going into the feed bunk, to replace corn, so we’re trying to pull that back out of the feed bunk and preserve supplies,” said Suderman. (Reporting by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; editing by Diane Craft)

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