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Wheat ticks up, set for biggest weekly drop in 3-1/2 months

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SINGAPORE — Chicago wheat edged higher on Friday, but the market is on track for its biggest weekly decline since early-April on optimism of a deal to resume Ukraine’s stalled grain exports.

Corn and soybeans gained ground on forecasts of hot and dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest, with both market poised to end the week in a negative territory.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 0.6% to $7.99 a bushel, as of 0011 GMT, and has dropped 10.3% this week, the biggest since the beginning of April.

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* Corn and soybeans have lost more than 3% this week.

* Major global wheat exporters Ukraine and Russia see positive signs in discussions which could lead to the resumption of Ukrainian Black Sea grain exports after Wednesday’s talks in Istanbul, their officials said.

* Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are due to sign a deal next week aimed at resuming Ukraine’s grain exports, Turkish defense minister Hulusi Akar said after the talks, although U.N. chief Antonio Guterres was a little more cautious.

* Strong demand for U.S. cargoes underpinned prices. Export sales of U.S. wheat in the week ended July 7 totalled more than 1 million tonnes, U.S. government data showed on Thursday, representing the biggest weekly tally since March 2020 as prices tumbled enough to attract interest from global buyers.

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* The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported weekly sales of 1,017,156 tonnes of “old crop” wheat, harvested in 2022, and another 30,000 tonnes of “new crop” wheat to be harvested in 2023, for a total of 1,047,156 tonnes. That was the most since the week ended March 19, 2020, when sales of old- and new-crop wheat reached 1,106,398 tonnes.

* Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday cut all its forecasts for this year’s grain crops in the European Union, as it fine-tuned wheat and barley estimates as harvest progresses in the bloc and pointing to dry weather threatening maize fields.

* The EU wheat crop was expected at 123.3 million tonnes, down from 124.4 million projected in June and below the revised 129.9 million tonnes harvested last year, it said in a monthly report.

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* Conditions across most of Argentina’s vast farm lands will remain mostly dry over the next week, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, just a few hours after its peer in Rosario cut its estimate for the wheat crop by 4.3% due to drought affecting important agricultural provinces.

* Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybeans, wheat and soyoil futures contracts and net buyers of CBOT corn and soymeal on Thursday, traders said.

MARKET NEWS

* Global equity markets edged lower on Thursday and oil slipped while the safe-haven dollar rose after the latest red-hot U.S. inflation reading heightened investor fears about Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and a possible recession.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0200 China Urban Investment (YTD) YY June 0200 China Retail Sales YY June 0200 China GDP YY Q2 1100 EU Reserve Assets Total June 1230 US Retail Sales MM June 1315 US Industrial Production MM June 1400 US U Mich Sentiment Prelim July (Reporting by Naveen Thukral)

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