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CHICAGO: US corn futures rose for the fourth day in a row on Friday, hitting a 2-1/2-month peak as harvest slowdowns across the Midwest left end users scrambling for supplies, traders said.

"We are still trying to get high enough to entice some producer movement that is a little bit bigger," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based US Commodities.

The rainy weather that caused the harvest delays also buoyed soyabeans, although gains were limited by technical pressure. Corn and soyabeans received additional support from news of fresh export deals.

Wheat futures were mixed. The nearby Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat contract firmed slightly while deferred offerings eased. K.C. hard red winter wheat contracts also were weaker, setting back from multi-year highs on a round of profit taking. But MGEX spring wheat remained firm, rallying to a 10-1/2-year high.

Strong import demand, poor spring wheat harvests and an export duty imposed by Russia have heightened expectations of relatively tight wheat supplies this season.

"Globally, the slow Russian export pace is leaving a hole in the global balance sheet," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

CBOT December soft red winter wheat ended up 1/4 cent at $7.72-3/4 a bushel. The most-active CBOT SRW contract rose 6.5% this month, its fifth straight monthly gain and its longest such streak since 2007.

CBOT December corn futures were 5-1/2 cents higher at $5.68-1/4 and CBOT January soyabeans were up 3-1/2 cents at $12.49-1/2. Private exporters reported the sale of 279,415 tonnes of corn to Mexico and 132,000 tonnes of soyabeans to unknown destinations for delivery in the 2021/22 marketing year, the US Agriculture Department said on Friday morning. Separate soyabean sales totalling 222,350 tonnes also were reported.

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