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Wheat falls, set for 4th weekly drop on Black Sea supplies

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SINGAPORE — Chicago wheat futures lost more ground on Friday and were set for a fourth straight weekly drop, pressured by ample Black Sea supplies that are giving stiff competition to U.S. exporters.

Soybeans inched higher after the previous session’s deep losses, while corn fell.

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“Very weak export news plus a lack of a major exporter production problem, except Argentina, has helped to pressure (prices),” Hightower said in a report.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) slid 0.7% to $7.77-1/4 a bushel, as of 0353 GMT, soybeans added 0.3% to $14.33-1/2 a bushel and corn gave up 0.1% to $6.60 a bushel.

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For the week, wheat is down around 2.5%, corn has dropped 1.7% and soybeans are little changed.

A record wheat production in Russia, the world’s biggest exporter, and ample supplies elsewhere from the Black Sea region are adding pressure on U.S. futures.

The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) said export sales of wheat totalled 162,500 tonnes in the week ended Nov. 24, well below the low end of analysts’ forecasts that ranged from 300,000 to 725,000 tonnes.

The USDA reported weekly corn export sales of 632,700 tonnes. The market had expected 475,000 tonnes to 1.1 million tonnes.

The soybean market dropped on Thursday after the U.S. government proposed smaller-than-expected biofuels blending requirements.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed smaller increases than traders had expected in the amount of ethanol and other biofuels that oil refiners must blend into their fuel over the next three years.

Production of renewable diesel, which can be made from soyoil, is growing, “but not at the unrealistic pace expected by fund managers,” StoneX chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman said.

Soybeans and wider commodity markets had been underpinned in recent sessions by signs China was softening its tone on COVID-19 rules after rare public protests in the world’s second-largest economy.

Argentina’s wheat production outlook is likely to face more cuts due to lower-than-expected yields, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday, as the harvest of the grains advances in the midst of a prolonged drought.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soymeal futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of soybean, soyoil, corn and wheat futures, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu)

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