GRAINS-Corn, soybeans gain as U.S. crop ratings decline
* USDA cuts corn, soy, spring wheat ratings after hot, dry spell
* Restart of Ukraine sea exports anchors wheat
* Traders looking ahead to Friday USDA S&D update (Adds closing prices)
By Karl Plume
CHICAGO, Aug 9 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean futures climbed to their highest in more than a week on Tuesday on lower weekly U.S. crop condition ratings and worries that hot, dry weather in the western Midwest forecast would continue to stress crops.
Wheat was also firmer as the dollar softened, although gains were limited by pressure from inter-market spreading and a resumption in sea exports from Ukraine under a wartime corridor agreement.
Traders are awaiting monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supply and demand forecasts on Friday.
But weather and crop conditions remained a primary concern for the market after the USDA lowered its weekly soybean condition rating and cut its corn rating by more than expected.
The USDA said 58% of U.S. corn was in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, down 3 points from a week earlier and below the average trade estimate of 60%. Soybeans were rated 59% good to excellent, in line with estimates, but down a point from a week earlier.
Chicago Board of Trade December corn was up 6-3/4 cents at $6.14 a bushel and November soybeans were up 28-3/4 cents at $14.28-3/4 a bushel. CBOT September wheat was 1-3/4 cents higher at $7.81-1/2 a bushel.
"Corn's upside is related to the crop conditions. The fact that we're at 58% (good to excellent) now versus 64% a year ago shows us that conditions are rapidly declining," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.
Parts of the Midwest have received rain recently, but hot weather forecast for the region this week is expected to continue stressing crops.
A firmer Brazilian real and improved U.S. export sales underpinned corn and soy prices following another daily USDA announcement of 133,000 tonnes of new-crop corn sold to China. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Mark Potter and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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