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CHICAGO: US wheat futures were mostly lower on Wednesday as the harvest of winter wheat advanced, with dry conditions expected to speed progress in the Plains, traders said. Corn futures were mixed, with strong domestic cash markets supporting nearby July futures on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybean futures were mostly lower.

As of 1:13 p.m. CDT, CBOT July wheat was down 1 cent at $10.49-1/4 per bushel. July corn was up 6 cents at $7.74-1/4 a bushel and July soybeans were down 4-1/4 cents at $16.94-1/4 in choppy trade. CBOT soft red winter and K.C. hard red winter wheat futures declined on seasonal pressure, with the K.C. July contract dipping to $11.25-3/4, its lowest since June 3. Weather forecasts in the southern Plains hard red winter wheat belt called for “favourably dry” conditions, the Commodity Weather Group said.

“We are at harvest for winter wheat, and that’s going to keep it under some pressure. Because it is a small harvest, (futures prices) will probably bottom early in the harvest period, but we’ve still got to get a little farther,” said Jack Scoville, analyst with the Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Corn and soy traders were monitoring a hot spell in the Midwest, where the planting of both crops is nearly complete after a slow start due to cool, wet weather in April and May.

“Initially this hot and dry weather is going to be good for the crops; we needed it. But if it goes much longer, it will turn from good to bad in a hurry,” Scoville said.

Meanwhile, fears of an economic downturn, fuelled by surging inflation and lockdowns in China to counter renewed COVID-19 outbreaks, have taken attention away from supply disruption in grains caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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