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Soybeans down 1% on U.S. crop forecast; corn, wheat ease

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SINGAPORE — Chicago soybean futures slid more than 1% on Monday, declining for the first time in three sessions, after a U.S. government report raised the country’s production forecast, although hot and dry weather in parts of the Midwest limited losses.

Corn and wheat lost ground.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) lost 1.2% to $14.37-1/2 a bushel, as of 0016 GMT. Corn fell 0.9% to $6.36-1/2 a bushel and wheat gave up 0.9% to $7.99 a bushel.

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* U.S. soybean production will be bigger than previously forecast as better-than-expected yields will more than make up for a cut to acreage, the U.S. government said on Friday.

* While dry weather has hit soybean fields hard in some farms west of the Mississippi River, yields in top-producing states like Illinois, Indiana and Ohio would make up for any shortfalls, the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report said.

* The soybean harvest will come in at a record 4.531 billion bushels, compared with the government’s July harvest estimates of 14.505 billion bushels, according to the report.

* However, Friday’s forecast is based on U.S. crop conditions as of Aug. 1 and there has been a lot of heat and dryness hitting the crop in the last 12 days, analysts said.

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* In Europe, French maize crop conditions declined steeply last week to their lowest level in at least a decade, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, as a worsening drought and latest heatwave baked fields in the European Union’s top grain producer.

* Exports of Russian wheat harvested this summer for the 2022/23 marketing season are unlikely to fulfill the potential offered by an expected record crop as banks, shippers and insurers are still wary despite U.S. assurances over sanctions, traders said.

* Two more ships carrying grain left from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Saturday, bringing the total number of vessels to depart the country under a U.N.-brokered deal to 16.

* The first ship to depart Ukraine under the deal two weeks ago was approaching the Syrian port of Tartous on Sunday, after the original buyer refused the delivery over quality concerns.

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* Large speculators raised their net long position in CBOT corn futures in the week to Aug. 9, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

* The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and net long position in soybeans.

MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares inched higher on Monday with investors anxious to see if Wall Street can sustain its rally as hopes U.S. inflation has peaked will be tested by likely hawkish commentary from the Federal Reserve this week.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT, July) 0200 China Urban Investment (YTD) YY 0200 China Retail Sales YY 0200 China Unemp Rate Urban Area 1100 EU Reserve Assets Total (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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