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Corn ticks down, soybeans firm as harvest and demand weighed

By Gus Trompiz and Enrico Dela Cruz

PARIS/MANILA, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures inched lower on Wednesday while soybeans edged up, with both markets trading near 2-1/2 month highs as participants weighed reduced U.S. supply prospects against the risk that an economic slowdown will curb demand. Wheat was firm, supported by an easing back in the dollar and uncertainty over an export corridor for Ukrainian grain following Moscow's criticism of the arrangement.

The most-traded corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.2% at $6.91-1/4 a bushel by 1018 GMT. CBOT soybeans were up 0.6% at $14.88 a bushel.

U.S. corn and soybean supplies will fall to multi-year lows after hot and dry weather hurt harvest potential, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday. The agency's reduced U.S. soybean harvest estimate caught the market by surprise as it contrasted with some favourable field reports in recent weeks.

"The markets continued to absorb (the) USDA report, with some firmness in futures," consultancy Agritel said. "Rising inflation, combined with an economic slowdown, has led to fears of a decline in global demand," it added in a note.

August U.S. inflation figures on Tuesday fueled bets for higher interest rates, which could slow down the global economy and dampen demand for commodities. Growth in global oil demand is set to grind to a halt in the fourth quarter as an economic slowdown deepens, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday. CBOT wheat rose 0.5% to $8.64-3/4 a bushel.

The United Nations is trying to broker a resumption of Russian ammonia exports through Ukraine, a Western diplomat said on Tuesday, a move that could stabilise a corridor deal for Ukrainian grain that has been criticised by Russia.

Some U.S. railroads will start halting crop shipments on Thursday, a day ahead of a potential work stoppage, an agricultural association and sources at two grain cooperatives said. Grain markets are also watching for crop production estimates later on Wednesday from Statistics Canada.

  1. READ MORE: U.S. railways to halt grain shipments ahead of potential shutdown, agriculture sources say 

Prices at 1018 GMT Last Change Pct End 2021 Ytd Pct Move Move CBOT wheat 864.75 4.25 0.49 770.75 12.20 CBOT corn 691.25 -1.50 -0.22 593.25 16.52 CBOT soy 1488.00 9.25 0.63 1339.25 11.11 Paris wheat 335.50 -0.75 -0.22 276.75 21.23 Paris maize 328.50 -1.75 -0.53 226.00 45.35 Paris rape 600.25 -6.25 -1.03 754.00 -20.39 WTI crude oil 87.70 0.39 0.45 75.21 16.61 Euro/dlr 1.00 0.00 0.46 1.1368 -11.89 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and David Evans)

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