GRAINS-U.S. corn, soybeans extend gains as output concerns grow
MUMBAI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Chicago grains futures extended gains in early trade on Wednesday, as a tour of key growing areas in the Midwest raised concerns that the size of the U.S. corn and soybeans crop will fall below expectations.
* The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) most-active corn contract was up 1.34% at $6.64 a bushel, as of 0119 GMT, its highest level since June 30. Wheat rose 1.31% to $8.11 a bushel and soybeans climbed 0.74% to $14.71-3/4 a bushel.
* Indiana corn yield prospects are lower than last year and below the three-year average, scouts on an annual tour of top U.S. production states found on Tuesday.
* South Dakota corn yields were projected at 118.45 bushels per acre, the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour said on Monday, the worst on the tour since 2012.
* The tour also found that Ohio corn yield prospects and soybean pod counts are lower than last year.
* Bumper U.S. crops are needed to offset low global grain supplies, but extreme heat and widespread drought in parts of the U.S. Midwest have hampered fields and a string of troubled crop harvests worldwide are pointing to multiple years of tight supplies and high food costs.
* Nebraska corn yield prospects and soybean pod counts are lower than last year and below their three-year averages.
* Egypt's state grains buyer directly purchased 240,000 tonnes of Russian wheat on Monday, continuing its recent trend of buying without issuing international tenders.
* The European Union's crop monitoring service MARS on Monday lowered its yield forecasts again for summer crops in the bloc, with major cuts in maize (corn), sunflower and soybeans, as it expected further damage from the recent dry and hot weather.
* Crop prospects in the EU have taken on extra significance this year as Russia's invasion of Ukraine - a major wheat, corn and sunflower exporter - has disrupted Black Sea exports and raised uncertainty over Ukraine's harvest.
* The U.S. dollar steadied just below recent peaks on Wednesday, as investors waited to hear from the Federal Reserve and pondered whether weak U.S. data may slow the pace of rate hikes. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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