GRAINS-Wheat, corn futures slip ahead of key USDA crop forecasts
Grain corridor talks eyed after Russia strikes Ukraine cities
Weather forecasts point to dry conditions, low U.S. river level concerns
Corn, soy consolidate as U.S. crop data watched
(Updates with closing prices)
By P.J. Huffstutter
CHICAGO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures fell back on Tuesday, after jumping to a three-month high a day earlier, as signs of escalation in the war between Russia and Ukraine continued to raise concerns about the viability of Black Sea grain trade in the coming months.
Corn futures slipped, and soybeans firmed, as investors assessed demand risks and looked ahead to widely followed U.S. government crop forecasts, slated to be released on Wednesday.
Investors were adjusting positions ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and Crop Production reports - and are watching for any revisions the government may make to U.S. corn and soybean harvest estimates.
"In general, the market is doing a bit of profit-taking in advance of the reports," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Allendale Inc.
But Nelson cautioned that traders are also watching weather forecasts in the central U.S., which could lead to interior rivers' water levels falling once again and potentially causing more transportation woe during harvest.
In some areas, Nelson said, "we'll be at the low points we saw last week by tomorrow or Thursday, and will be hitting new lows by Friday or Saturday."
The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) most-active wheat contract on Tuesday settled down 37 cents at $9.01 a bushel.
CBOT corn settled down 5-1/4 cents to $6.93 a bushel, while soybeans inched up 2-1/4 cents to settle at $13.76-1/4 a bushel.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will ask the leaders of the G7 group of nations to urgently supply Ukraine with air defense weapons on Tuesday, after Russia rained down cruise missiles on cities across the country.
The escalation fanned fears that a Black Sea shipping corridor agreement for Ukrainian grain exports may lapse, despite U.N. efforts to negotiate an extension. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Evans)
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