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SINGAPORE/PARIS: Chicago wheat futures were trading sideways on Tuesday, close to the previous session’s 17-month low, as rain in parts of the US winter wheat belt and optimism over a Russia-Ukraine export deal kept the market under pressure.

For the month, wheat has lost more than 7%, falling for the fifth month in a row, corn is down 5.5% and soybeans have fallen 2%, on track for the first monthly decline in five months.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.1% at $7.09 a bushel as of 1217 GMT, after dropping to its lowest since September 2021 at $7.05-3/4 a bushel on Monday.

EU wheat futures close to 1-month low

Corn slid 0.2% to $6.42-1/4 a bushel, having dropped to its weakest since Dec. 8 at $6.41-1/4 bushel, and soybeans gave up 0.7% to $15.02 a bushel.

“The weakness is probably due to the good supply situation, thanks in part to a sharp rise in Russian exports,” Commerzbank said about the market move over the past two weeks.

Optimism that the deal allowing grain shipments from Black Sea ports in war-torn Ukraine will be renewed in the coming weeks pressured both corn and wheat. The agreement has increased competition for suppliers of wheat and corn and expires in March.

Rains in dry parts of the US Plains have also improved hard red winter wheat prospects.

Condition ratings for winter wheat declined during February in Kansas, the top US winter wheat producer, but improved in Oklahoma, the No. 3 grower, the US Department of Agriculture said on Monday.

Export demand for US grain has slumped despite the fighting between key global suppliers Russia and Ukraine.

Brazil’s biggest grain state Mato Grosso is expected to sow around 20% of its 2022/2023 second corn crop outside the ideal climate window, farmer group Imea said on Monday.

Second corn, which represents about 75% of overall national corn output, is planted after soybeans are harvested in the same areas. Delays in the soy harvesting, however, are pushing back corn planting, according to Imea.

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