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US Grains: Profit-taking puts pressure on wheat futures

Chicago | Reuters – US wheat futures fell on a round of profit-taking on Wednesday, as traders said the market lacked fundamental inputs to push prices higher, a day after a rally sparked by renewed Black Sea concerns -Agreement was triggered.

Corn futures were firm for a second straight day, with old crop contracts leading the way on signs of strength in the spot market. Deferred corn contracts ended higher but closed below session highs after updated forecasts indicated rain in Iowa within the next week.

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The soybean market was mixed as old crop contracts edged higher on technical buying while deferred contracts fell on demand concerns.

Wheat futures rose 2.6 percent on Monday, but ample supplies in Russia — underscored by falling prices, a planned export tax overhaul and a favorable harvest outlook — kept wheat prices contained, traders said.

“There was no demand,” said Scott Harms, agricultural risk specialist at Archer Financial Services. “We just don’t have a home for US wheat.”

Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat was down 16 cents in July to 6.06-1/4 a bushel (all in US dollars).

On Tuesday, Ukraine accused Russia of effectively excluding Ukraine’s port of Pivdennyi from a deal that allowed safe exports of Black Sea grain, food and fertilizer from Ukraine’s ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi. Russia complained that it had not been able to export ammonia to Pivdennyi via a pipeline.

In China, a surplus of cheap wheat is curbing consumption of corn and soybean meal, feed manufacturers and analysts say.

A firmer US dollar and weakness in financial markets as investors fretted over stalled talks to raise the US government’s debt ceiling further weighed on sentiment, traders said.

July CBOT corn futures were up 9-3/4 cents at $5.87-1/4 a bushel.

CBOT soybeans were up two cents per $13.24-1/2 a bushel in July. November’s new crop fell 2.34 cents to $11.85 a bushel.

– Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Matthew Chye in Singapore.

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