GRAINS-U.S. soybeans, corn and wheat fall as traders watch weather
(New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments; new byline, changes dateline, pvs PARIS/SINGAPORE)
By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean and corn futures weakened on Wednesday as the short-term weather forecasts called for rain in the Midwest that should provide relief to stressed crops.
"Those scattered (and sometimes decent) rain chances continue this week as corn finishes up pollination and soybeans start to mature," Matt Zeller, director of market information at brokerage StoneX, said in a note to clients. "That is keeping the bears hopeful that U.S. crops will find enough just-in-time rains to produce decent yields."
But the losses were kept in check by outlooks for the second half of August that show southern and western areas of the crop belt will return to hot and dry conditions.
Wheat futures also were lower, on track for their fourth straight losing sessions, on a round of technical selling after firming overnight.
Global wheat consumption is headed for its biggest annual decline in decades as record inflation forces consumers and companies to use less and replace the grain with cheaper alternatives.
At 11:10 a.m. CDT (1610 GMT), the benchmark Chicago Board of Trade September soft red winter wheat contract was down 18-1/4 cents at $7.56-1/2 a bushel. On a continuous basis, the most-active contract hit its lowest since July 22.
CBOT November soybeans were down 18-1/2 cents at $13.68 a bushel and CBOT December corn was 4-1/4 cents lower at $5.90 a bushel.
The first grain vessel to leave a Ukrainian sea port since the start of the war was inspected in Turkey on Wednesday before its onward journey to Lebanon, but Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy said this was only a fraction of what Kyiv needed to export.
"The price direction will depend on how much wheat and corn actually comes out of Ukraine in the coming weeks," one Singapore-based trader said. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, David Goodman and David Gregorio)
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