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CHICAGO: Chicago corn futures climbed on Wednesday for a second day after the US Department of Agriculture cut crop ratings on Monday afternoon, though beneficial rainfall across parts of the upper US Midwest limited gains.

Soybeans traded both sides of even after the market made its biggest daily gain since late-June on Tuesday, with hot and dry forecasts being tempered by the rains.

Wheat inched lower, but was buoyed by faltering wheat production in the Black Sea region.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 6-3/4 cents to $5.52 a bushel by 11:49 a.m. (1649 GMT), after adding 1.8% the day prior.

Soybeans gained 1-1/2 cents to $13.33-1/4 a bushel, having firmed around 3% on Tuesday while wheat eased 3-1/4 cents to $7.29 a bushel.

Trade volume was light as a lack of daily export notices or dramatic weather activity failed to inspire the grain markets, according to Joe Davis, director of commodity sales at Futures International.

“There’s no real impetus to get us moving higher,” Davis said. “I think we’re in for a range-bound market.”

The USDA reported on Monday a weekly decline in crop conditions as severely hot weather was forecast for the heart of the Midwest crop belt.

Dryness over the next six months in Argentina is expected to reduce the size of the country’s corn and soy crops, while complicating navigation of grain cargo ships on the Parana River, analysts said.

Soybeans were supported by recent export activity, though overnight rains limited any movement higher.

“The weather forecast probably gave people pause - we could see some improvement out here. That’s going to blunt some of the speculative fervor,” said Dale Durchholz, principal at Grain Cycles.

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