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333065

GRAINS-Corn dips but still posts monthly gain; soy lower, wheat up

(New throughout, updates prices and market activity to U.S. close)

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures declined for a second session on Wednesday on profit-taking at the end of the month and mounting recession worries, but the market nonetheless gained 8% during August due to eroding U.S. and European crop prospects.

Soybean futures ended lower after a back-and-forth session. But wheat turned higher on technical buying and worries about shipments from war-torn Ukraine. Grain silos in Ukraine's second biggest port, Mykolaiv, were hit by Russian shelling of the city on Tuesday, causing a fire that was still burning on Wednesday, Ukraine's emergencies service said.

Chicago Board of Trade December corn settled down 6-3/4 cents at $6.70-1/2 per bushel. November soybeans ended down 10 cents at $14.22-1/2 a bushel while CBOT December wheat finished up 11-1/4 cents at $8.31-1/2 a bushel.

Corn was pressured as traders booked profits after the December contract hit a two-month high on Monday. A broad slide in commodity and financial markets also weighed on prices.

"The macro-environment remains negative for agriculture this week," said Charles Branch, head of agricultural commodities at Britannia Global Markets.

Wall Street slipped and U.S. crude oil prices sank on worries that tightening monetary policy around the world will hurt demand for goods and drag on the global economy.

Still, for the month, CBOT December corn rose 8% as drought threatened crop prospects in portions of the U.S. Midwest and Europe.

CBOT December wheat inched up 0.7% for the month, drawing support as the winter wheat harvest concludes in the Northern Hemisphere.

"We're starting to get a post-harvest rally going," said Jack Scoville, vice president at Chicago-based Price Futures Group.

Soybean futures closed lower Wednesday after a choppy session as traders weighed expectations of a large U.S. harvest against signs of fresh export demand. The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 167,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the latest in a series of U.S. soy sales announcements in the last two weeks.

For the month, November soybeans fell 3%.

After the CBOT close, the USDA said it would delay its next weekly export sales report until Sept. 15 at the earliest, leaving grain traders in the dark about overseas demand. The USDA is struggling to launch a new reporting system for the data. The USDA's report is normally issued each Thursday. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Paul Simao, Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)

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