July 29, 2020 / 9:16 PM / 13 days ago

GRAINS-Corn to one-month low as mild U.S. weather favors crops

(Updates with closing CBOT prices)

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, July 29 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures fell for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, touching their lowest level in a month as mild weather in most of the Midwest favored prospects for a large harvest, analysts said.

Soybeans also fell on beneficial weather outlooks. But wheat futures rose on short-covering and optimism about export demand for U.S. wheat as the dollar declined.

Chicago Board of Trade December corn settled down 3-3/4 cents at $3.26-1/4 per bushel after dipping to $3.26, the contract's lowest since June 29.

CBOT November soybeans ended down 2-1/4 cents at $8.85-1/4 a bushel but stayed inside of Tuesday's trading range, while CBOT September wheat finished 9-1/4 cents higher at $5.32-3/4.

Corn futures fell more than 1% on strong yield prospects.

"U.S. weather still appears favorable for corn and soybean development, with near-normal temperatures forecast across the Corn Belt over the next two weeks," said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis, adding that stress from dryness will be limited to only 10% to 15% of the region.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday rated 72% of the U.S. corn and soybean crops in good-to-excellent condition. Both figures were up from 69% the previous week and topped a range of trade expectations.

"The high U.S. corn and soybean crop ratings and favorable weather are expected to limit the market's rally potential," Cekander said.

Wheat futures climbed as traders covered short positions a day after the CBOT September contract fell to $5.19-1/4, its lowest in a week.

A softer dollar lent support, making U.S. grains more competitive globally. The dollar index fell to a two-year low as the Federal Reserve affirmed its commitment to holding rates near zero.

Also supportive, Russian agriculture consultancy SovEcon reduced its forecast for Russia's 2020 wheat crop by 400,000 tonnes to 79.3 million tonnes, citing dry weather.

Traders await the USDA's weekly export sales report due Thursday, which will cover sales for the week ended July 23. (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)

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