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CHICAGO: Chicago Board of Trade corn futures closed higher on Friday on expectations the US harvest will fall below government forecasts due to unfavourably hot and dry weather this summer, traders said.

The benchmark CBOT December corn futures contract ended up 14-1/4 cents at $6.64-1/4 a bushel.

After the close of trading, advisory service Pro Farmer projected US farmers would harvest a corn crop of 13.759 billion bushels, which would be the smallest since 2019, based on an average yield of 168.1 bushels per acre.

The USDA’s most recent forecast, issued on Aug. 12, called for a corn crop of 14.359 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 175.4 bushels per acre.

In the Corn Belt, weather conditions are mostly dry, allowing corn and soybeans to move closer to maturity, the USDA said in a daily weather report.

In France, maize crop conditions declined last week to their lowest rating in more than 10 years, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, suggesting that recent rain has brought limited benefit to fields damaged by heat waves and drought.

US WHEAT FUTURES HIGHER

US wheat futures finished stronger on Friday on short covering and spill-over support from other markets, traders said.

The most-active Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat futures contract settled up 16-1/4 cents at $8.05-1/4 a bushel. Last week, the most-active contract hit its lowest price since February.

KC hard red winter wheat for December delivery rose 16 cents to end at $8.82-1/4 a bushel, and MGEX December spring wheat futures were up 13-3/4 cents to $9.09-1/2 a bushel.

Rallies in CBOT corn and soybeans helped lift wheat futures, traders said.

Ukraine’s 2022 wheat harvest is 98% complete at 18.8 million tonnes in spite of the war in the country’s east and south, data from Ukraine’s agriculture ministry showed.

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