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CHICAGO: Chicago wheat fell on Wednesday, giving back the week’s gains as investors weighed whether talks between Ukraine and Russia could lead to a ceasefire in the three-week war, while rain forecast in the U.S. Plains eased concerns over parched crops.

Corn dropped as the talks between Moscow and Kyiv tempered fears of prolonged disruption to Black Sea grain exports.

Soybeans followed the complex lower, despite support from firm crude oil and edible oil prices.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) lost 85 cents to $10.69-1/4 a bushel, as of 11:46 a.m. CDT (1646 GMT).

CBOT corn dropped 25-3/4 cents to $7.32-1/4 a bushel, while soybeans eased 1 cents to $16.57-3/4 a bushel.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said peace talks were sounding more realistic, but more time was needed, as Russian air strikes killed five people in the capital Kyiv and the refugee tally since Moscow’s invasion reached three million.

“This market was run on fear - mainly the fear of the unknown,” said Jeff French, owner of Ag Hedgers. “We’re getting less unknown here. So the fear in the grains, is subsiding.”

Traders are beginning to turning focus to U.S. production ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s March 31 planting intentions report, while U.S. winter wheat could benefit from forecasts for rain across parts of the U.S. Great Plains region in the next 10 days that could help early spring growth, the Commodity Weather Group said in a note.

“The market, old-crop corn and beans specifically, is very comfortable range trading ahead of that report,” said Dan Hussey, senior market strategist at Zaner Group.

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