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CHICAGO: Chicago corn futures rose on Thursday to 14-month highs as soaring Chinese corn markets offer greater export potential for the US grain, traders said.

Wheat climbed as dryness across Russia and Argentina threatened wheat production prospects, and soyabeans cautiously rose as the market weighed continued exports against South American rain forecasts.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade gained 6 cents to $4.02-1/2 a bushel by 12:08 p.m. (1708 GMT), after climbing to $4.03-3/4, the highest since Aug. 12, 2019.

CBOT wheat added 16-1/2 cents to $6.13-1/4 a bushel and soyabeans rose 3-3/4 cents to $10.60 a bushel.

China's Dalian corn futures market rose to six-year highs on Wednesday, creating hope that the country will renew purchases of US corn.

The USDA reported another 261,000 tonnes of US soyabean sales to China Thursday morning.

"China can import corn and make a profit," said Don Roose, president of US Commodities, noting the country would need to lift tariffs first.

Meanwhile, dryness across Russia's wheat-producing regions added to emergence concerns in the drought-stricken US Plains, lifting CBOT wheat futures.

"If they get a rain it may come up, but I've been talking to clients that say, it's too far along," said Jeff French, risk management specialist with Top Third Ag Marketing. "There's just no relief in sight."

Argentina's Rosario grains exchange lowered its estimate of the South American country's soon-to-be-harvested 2020/21 wheat crop to 17 million tonnes, from 18 million previously, citing dryness and frosts.

Global wheat demand remains strong, with Jordan tendering to buy 120,000 tonnes of wheat, while Japan bought 87,110 tonnes of wheat from the United States and Canada.

Soyabeans grappled with competing forces as supportive export demand from China outweighed pressure from harvest selling by US farmers and rains in South America that improved conditions for newly planted crops.