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Prices consolidate after rally as U.S. weather eyed

Market weighs dryness in north, cooler weather elsewhere.

By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral

PARIS/SINGAPORE, July 15 (Reuters) - Chicago corn, wheat and soybean futures were little changed on Thursday after a day-earlier rally, as prices faced chart resistance and market participants assessed contrasting conditions for U.S. crops.

Grain markets were also waiting for weekly U.S. export data later on Thursday for an update on demand.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.2% at $5.57-3/4 a bushel by 1153 GMT. On Wednesday the contract closed up 3.3% after hitting its highest since July 2 as forecasts calling for dry weather next week in the U.S. Midwest fanned yield concerns.

CBOT soybeans edged up 0.2% to $13.86-1/4 a bushel, after touching its highest since July 2 earlier in the session.

CBOT wheat also ticked up 0.2%, to $6.55-1/4 but held below Wednesday's near two-week top.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean, wheat, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said. "We are in the middle of U.S. corn and soybean growing season and the market is going to be volatile," said one Singapore-based grains trader. "There have been rains in some U.S. areas, while many parts are still dry."

Crop worries remained focused on northerly growing belts, where U.S. spring wheat has been badly affected by drought. However, much of the Midwest was expected to see milder than normal temperatures in the week ahead, which could limit moisture loss as corn enters pollination.

Drought damage to North American spring wheat and heavy rain facing winter wheat at the start of harvesting in western Europe have created uncertainty about wheat supply in the face of strong expected demand for food and feed.

Consultancy Strategie Grains raised its monthly forecast of European Union soft wheat production in 2021/22 while increasing its export outlook more sharply. "Combined exports from the EU-27, Russia, and Ukraine will need to reach an all-time high to meet the needs of importing countries in 2021/22," it said in a report.

Prices at 1153 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2020 Move CBOT wheat 655.25 1.00 0.15 640.50 2.30 CBOT corn 557.75 -1.00 -0.18 484.00 15.24 CBOT soy 1386.25 3.00 0.22 1311.00 5.74 Paris wheat Sep 208.25 0.00 0.00 192.50 8.18 Paris maize Aug 238.50 -0.50 -0.21 219.00 8.90 Paris rape Aug 543.75 5.00 0.93 418.25 30.01 WTI crude oil 71.82 -1.31 -1.79 48.52 48.02 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 -0.19 1.2100 -2.37 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by Uttaresh.V and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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