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GRAINS-Corn at 6-week high as heat curbs U.S. yields; soy, wheat also rise

* Corn futures rise for 5th session, up 2.4%; wheat rises 1.7% * Weekly U.S. corn, soybean ratings fall below expectations * Soy, corn damaged in South Dakota after drought - crop tour (Adds quote, background, updates prices) By Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide SINGAPORE/PARIS, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Chicago corn jumped to its highest in more than a month on Tuesday, gaining 2.4% after a U.S. government report showed crop conditions had worsened amid hot and dry weather in key regions across the Midwest. Wheat rose 1.7%, extending strong gains made in the two previous sessions, while soybeans added nearly 1%. "The market has focussed on reports coming from scouts in the western Midwest," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Crop problems are suspected of being greatest in that region, and the reports coming back so far (are) mostly bad." The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) most-active corn contract was up 2.4% at $6.44-3/4 a bushel as of 1050 GMT, after climbing earlier in the session to the highest since July 11 at $6.44-3/4 a bushel. Wheat rose 1.7% to $8.01-1/2 a bushel, and soybeans added 0.9% to $14.48 a bushel. Condition ratings for corn and soybeans declined in the latest week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said after the market closed on Monday, bucking analyst expectations for no change as stressful dry conditions continued to impact crops. In its weekly crop progress report, the USDA rated 55% of the U.S. corn crop in good-to-excellent condition, down from 57% the previous week. For soybeans, the government rated 57% of the crop as good-to-excellent, down from 58% previously. South Dakota corn yields were projected at 118.45 bushels per acre (bpa), the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour said on Monday, the worst on the tour since 2012 and well below the 2021 crop tour average of 151.45 bpa and the three-year crop tour average of 161.59 bpa. "The evolution of crop conditions remains an important element to follow, especially as the counts in the U.S. fields show a lower yield potential than last year," French consultancy Agritel said in a note. The European Union's crop monitoring service MARS on Monday also lowered its yield forecasts for summer crops in the bloc, with major cuts in maize (corn), sunflower and soybeans, as it expected further damage from the recent dry and hot weather. Crop prospects in the EU have taken on extra significance this year as Russia's invasion of Ukraine - a major wheat, corn and sunflower exporter - has disrupted Black Sea exports. Russian grain exports remain below their usual pace, raising concerns about storage space, according to analysts. A total of 33 cargo ships carrying around 719,549 tonnes of foodstuffs have left Ukraine under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian sea ports, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, wheat, soymeal, corn and soyoil futures contracts on Monday, traders said. Prices at 1030 GMT Last Change Pct Move CBOT wheat 801,50 13,25 1,68 CBOT corn 644,75 15,75 2,50 CBOT soy 1448,00 12,75 0,89 Paris wheat 323,25 6,50 2,05 Paris maize 320,50 8,00 2,56 Paris rapeseed 617,50 -5,25 -0,84 WTI crude oil 92,03 1,67 1,85 Euro/dlr 0,9916 0,00 -0,25 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy U.S. cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Jan Harvey)

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