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Wheat set for weekly decline, weather worries limit losses

Chicago wheat futures lost more ground on Friday with the market set for a weekly decline, although concerns over unfavorable weather in key exporting countries curbed losses.

Corn rose and was set for a second week of gains as dry weather in the U.S. Midwest underpinned prices.

“U.S. and Black Sea weather is likely to impact yields,” said one Singapore-based grains trader. “In the physical market, prices from most origins for wheat delivered to Asia have gone up from last week.”

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) slid 0.5% to $6.88-3/4 a bushel, as of 0347 GMT, having closed 2.6% lower on Thursday.

Wheat is down about 0.5% this week after rallying 12.6% last week.

Soybeans were down 2.7% for the week after gaining nearly 5% in the previous week and corn was up nearly 2% for the week, and set for a second straight week of gains.

Dry weather in top exporters Russia and the United States 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 per hectare a year earlier.

Adverse weather has also raised concerns about the U.S. corn crop which is in its critical phase of development.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Thursday morning that weekly export sales of corn totalled a net -40,700 tonnes, largely due to cancellations from China. The weekly total was the lowest since July 2012 and the second smallest on record.

The USDA’s weekly report showed soybean export sales totalled just 238,400 tonnes, weighing on soy futures as overseas buyers look for cheaper alternatives.

Consultancy Strategie Grains cut its estimate for France’s 2021 soft wheat harvest on Thursday after a crop tour showed lower-than-expected yields in the northeastern grain basket and said the overall quality of the harvest was also disappointing.

Argentina’s 2021/22 wheat crop is deteriorating in the country’s northern and central farm belt due to inadequate rainfall, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, but kept its harvest forecast unchanged at 19 million tonnes.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, wheat, corn, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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