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U.S. soy, corn retreat from multi-month highs on profit-taking, weather

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CHICAGO — U.S. corn and soybean futures turned lower on Wednesday as traders booked profits after both markets set multi-month highs and as weather forecasts promised much-needed rains in Argentina’s crop belt, traders said.

Wheat followed the weaker trend.

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As of 1:02 p.m. CST (1902 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade March soybeans were down 20 cents at $15.19-3/4 per bushel, retreating after rising to $15.48-1/2, the contract’s highest since June 13.

CBOT March corn was down 5 cents at $6.80-1/4 a bushel, retreating after a rise to $6.88-3/4, its highest since Nov. 4. March wheat was down 9-1/4 cents at $7.42-1/2 a bushel.

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“The Argentina weather forecast was a little bit wetter relative to yesterday … That prompted some profit-taking,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodities analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

“After climbing a few days here, traders are taking some steam out of the market,” Reilly said.

Markets drew underlying support from optimism about an economic upturn in China, as investors looked beyond disappointing 2022 growth and anticipated a rebound in activity with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. China is the world’s biggest soybean buyer.

Dry conditions in Argentina remained a focus of the soybean market, but expectations of bumper crops in Brazil, the largest global soy exporter, continued to temper supply concerns.

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Brazil’s 2022/23 summer grain production will outgrow total storage capacity for the first time in 20 years amid expectations of a record soybean harvest, according to government data obtained by Reuters from Conab, the food supply and statistics agency.

Wheat futures were underpinned by remarks on Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, should maintain stocks and not export all its agricultural supplies.

The comments drew attention to geopolitical risks in the Black Sea export zone as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Matthew Chye in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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