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CHICAGO: US wheat futures notched their fourth straight day of declines on Thursday, sinking to their lowest in more than a week on optimism about a deal that could lead to the resumption of Ukrainian Black Sea grain exports, traders said.

Corn futures rose for the sixth time in seven sessions on growing concerns about hot weather stunting crop development in the US Midwest during the key pollination phase.

“The corn market is trading higher again this morning ... watching the weather forecast that is not calling for much rain in the drier areas of the country,” Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage, said in a note to clients.

Soybean futures firmed after trading both sides of unchanged, with traders shrugging off weakness in the energy sector and concerns about the global economy.

At 10:43 a.m. CDT (1543 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures were up 9-1/4 cents at $6.04-1/2 a bushel. On a continuous basis the most-active contract hit its highest since July 6.

CBOT September soft red winter wheat was 7-1/4 cents lower at $8.03-1/2 a bushel while CBOT November soybeans gained 11 cents to $13.60-1/2 a bushel.

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are due to sign a deal next week aimed at resuming Ukraine’s grain exports.

“Ukraine really needs high-volume ocean shipping to move out its grain exports, a sea channel would be a major development, perhaps enabling Ukraine to put large volumes of grains into the world market,” said Matt Ammermann, StoneX commodity risk manager.

The potential for a pick-up in Ukraine’s pace of shipping outweighed bullish export news about US supplies.

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