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Soybeans ease, strong demand view limits decline; wheat firms

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SINGAPORE — Chicago soybeans futures slid for the first time in three sessions on Thursday, as prices come under pressure with growing fears of a global recession, although expectations of strong U.S. demand stemmed losses.

Wheat edged higher, with lower output in Argentina supporting prices, while corn lost ground.

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With inflation likely remaining high, the U.S. Federal Reserve could keep rates high through 2023, raising the risk of weak economic growth next year, ANZ said in a report.

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Asian stocks sagged on Thursday, tracking declines on Wall Street, after the U.S. Federal Reserve projected higher interest rates for a longer period.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) fell 0.4% to $14.76-3/4 a bushel, as of 0419 GMT. Wheat added quarter of a cent to $7.79-1/2 a bushel, while corn lost 0.2% to $6.49-1/2 a bushel.

Strong demand for U.S. soybeans, led by top buyer China, is likely to support prices, although rising COVID-19 infections in China have raised concerns as the country reopens.

Meanwhile, a major Argentine grains exchange cut its wheat production forecast for the 2022/23 season by about 3% on Wednesday, after the crops suffered in drought and late-season frosts during the start of the southern hemisphere spring.

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The Rosario Grains Exchange sees the wheat harvest at around 11.5 million tonnes, down from a previous estimate of 11.8 million tonnes.

Heavy snowfall in parts of U.S. plains will provide much-needed moisture to dry soils, boosting harvest expectations for the dormant crop.

Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday increased its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season, citing brisk demand from Morocco and China.

Soft wheat shipments to non-EU destinations are now seen at 10.30 million tonnes in the 2022/23 July-June season against 10.00 million projected last month.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat and soyoil futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said. They were net buyers of CBOT soybeans and soymeal contracts. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)

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