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331591

GRAINS-Wheat, corn sag as first grain shipment leaves Ukraine; soy slides 4%

(Updates with closing U.S. prices, USDA crop ratings) By Julie Ingwersen CHICAGO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and wheat futures fell on Monday as the first grains ship left a Ukrainian port using a newly agreed safe shipping channel, raising hopes that Ukraine's sea-borne exports can resume on a large scale after being blocked by war. Soybean futures tumbled 4% on profit-taking after the benchmark November contract surged nearly 12% last week, and on political tension between the United States and China, the world's top soy buyer, over Taiwan. Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans settled down 62-1/2 cents at $14.06 per bushel. December corn ended down 10-1/4 cents at $6.09-3/4 a bushel and CBOT September wheat fell 7-1/2 cents to end at $8.00-1/4. Broad weakness in commodities including crude oil hung over the grain markets, tied to recession fears. Corn and soy futures sometimes follow trends in crude oil due to soyoil's use in biodiesel and corn's role as the main U.S. feedstock for ethanol. "The things that took (CBOT grain futures) up starting in February were the energy market running to the upside, and Ukraine not being able to ship grain. Those bull stories are getting unwound today," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities. Traders continue to monitor crop weather closely. After the CBOT close, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly condition ratings improved for soybeans and spring wheat and held steady for corn, defying trade expectations for downgrades in all three crops following a hot week in the U.S. Corn Belt. In the Black Sea, a ship carrying grain left a Ukrainian port for Lebanon on Monday under a safe passage agreement, the first departure since the Russian invasion blocked Ukraine's sea shipping five months ago. However, key arrangements including procedures for ships still need to be worked out before empty vessels can come in and pick up cargoes from Ukraine using the new grains corridor, a senior London marine insurance market official said. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago Additional reporting by Mark Weinraub in Chicago, Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Matthew Lewis)

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