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GRAINS-Wheat, corn lower in pause after multi-month highs

(Updates with closing U.S. prices)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat and corn futures fell
on Friday, retreating from multi-month highs established a day
earlier as traders took profits and focused on prospects for
better weather in the drought-hit U.S. Plains wheat belt.
Soybeans sagged on much-needed rains in Argentina's crop
belt and worries about U.S. soybean export demand.
Broad declines in commodities added to bearish sentiment.
The 19-market Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity Index
fell 1.7 percent as U.S. crude oil fell on renewed
concerns about rising crude supplies.
Chicago Board of Trade March wheat settled down 7-1/4
cents at $4.49 per bushel.
CBOT March corn ended down 3-3/4 cents at $3.62 a
bushel while March soybeans fell 4-3/4 cents at $9.83 a
"Wheat leads the way lower in the grains, based on improved
moisture prospects for the Southern Plains in the six-to-10-day
period. A drought-breaker is not expected, but it is moisture
nonetheless," INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan
Suderman said in a note to clients.
Worries about dry conditions in major U.S. winter wheat
states such as Kansas and Oklahoma triggered a short-covering
rally this month in K.C. hard red winter wheat futures and CBOT
wheat as well.
K.C. March HRW wheat reached $4.84-1/2 a bushel on
Thursday, its highest level since mid-August, before turning
The run-up in prices appeared likely to curb export demand
for U.S. wheat, a factor underscored when the U.S. Department of
Agriculture on Thursday lowered its U.S. wheat export forecast
for the 2017/18 marketing year.
CBOT March corn fell a day after reaching a
three-month peak at $3.65-1/2 a bushel.
Worries about U.S. corn sales to China added pressure. Some
Chinese buyers have canceled corn purchases from the United
States and switched to rival supplier Ukraine, as Beijing
tightens controls on processing genetically modified strains of
the crop, trade sources said.
Still, front-month CBOT corn and wheat futures
eked out slight gains for the week.
Soybeans slipped but the spot March contract stayed
inside of Thursday's trading range. Welcome rains were falling
in parts of Argentina's crop area.
"These showers should lead to only minor improvements in
soil moisture across central Argentina, but will usher in much
cooler weather, reducing heat stress," Radiant Solutions said in
a daily weather note.
"Dry weather will return to the region next week, but
another round of showers is possible by next weekend," the note
Trade were also digesting Friday's monthly USDA report in
which the government raised its forecast of U.S. 2017/18 soybean
ending stocks, reflecting a slower-than-expected pace of

CBOT settlement prices:
Net Pct Volume
Last change change
CBOT wheat WH8 449.00 -7.25 -1.6 113044
CBOT corn CH8 362.00 -3.75 -1.0 232044
CBOT soybeans SH8 983.00 -4.75 -0.5 150476
CBOT soymeal SMH8 343.80 2.10 0.6 93714
CBOT soyoil BOH8 31.96 -0.25 -0.8 81763
NOTE: CBOT March wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per
bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus
Trompiz in Paris; Editing by James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler)

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