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Soybeans, corn fall as rains improve U.S. crop prospects

By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral

PARIS/SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean and corn futures eased on Thursday, giving up some of the last session's gains, as rain was expected to brief relief to parched areas of the U.S. grain belt.

Wheat added to losses from Wednesday, as a continuing flow of grain shipments from Ukraine under a wartime agreement and forecasts for a record Russian harvest created supply pressure.

Economic uncertainty also hung over grain markets, as investors assessed recession risks and analysed minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's July policy meeting.

"The macro environment is on the negative side of the ledger and fundamentals are skewed bearish: Ukraine exports, China recession/demand concerns, Iowa rains, cooler European temps and better Midwest forecasts," Peak Trading Research said in a note.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.9% at $13.78-1/4 a bushel by 0824 GMT while CBOT corn gave up 0.9% to $6.06-1/2 a bushel.

Corn and soybeans nonetheless held above more than one-week lows touched earlier this week.

CBOT wheat was off 1.9% at $7.65-3/4 a bushel, with a firmer dollar adding pressure.

Rain and cooler temperatures this week in dry western parts of the U.S. Midwest have eased concerns about yield losses, particularly for soybeans that are in a key growth stage.

"The more benign weather in the western U.S. Midwest has tempered the market's rally reflex for now," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"Weather forecasters have another useful rain event penned in those same regions about a week out. The evolution of forecast for that event will likely remain an influence."

Showers and less intense heat this week in Europe have also tempered fears about corn harvest losses in the region.

In Ukraine, one more ship carrying grain has left Chornomorsk port, Turkey's Defence Ministry said on Thursday, the 25th vessel to leave Ukraine's Black Sea ports under a U.N.-brokered grain export deal.

In Russia, consultancy Sovecon on Tuesday raised its forecast for the 2022 wheat crop to 94.7 million tonnes from 90.9 million, and traders have reported falling Russian prices after a slow start to the country's export campaign.

Grain markets will get an update on demand from weekly U.S. export sales figures at 1230 GMT, as a faltering Chinese economy stirs concern about an impact on imports.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Rashmi Aich and David Evans)

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