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Published July 08, 2015, 08:18 AM

Wheat slips again on easing U.S. rain, global market tensions

PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago wheat lost more ground on Wednesday as drier weather eased concerns about the U.S. harvest, and the Greece crisis and plunging Chinese equities continued to sap investor confidence.

By: Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral, Reuters

PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago wheat lost more ground on Wednesday as drier weather eased concerns about the U.S. harvest, and the Greece crisis and plunging Chinese equities continued to sap investor confidence.

Soybeans dropped for a fifth consecutive session to a one-week low, with the market turmoil in China, the world's biggest soybean importer, encouraging negative sentiment. Corn was also lower.

"It's a combination on one side of weak macro-economic factors and a stronger dollar, and on the other some improving weather-related data," Frank Rijkers, agricultural commodities analyst with ABN AMRO, said of the fall on grain markets.

"Issues in recent weeks about plenty of rain in the United States and drought in Europe were overvalued and there is a price correction going on."

Chicago Board Of Trade September wheat slid 1.6 percent to $5.75-3/4 a bushel by 1049 GMT after giving up a similar amount on Tuesday.

August soybeans fell 0.3 percent to $9.88-3/4, after earlier touching a lowest since June 30 at $9.87-1/4. September corn gave up 0.6 percent to $4.20-3/4 a bushel.

Chinese shares tumbled again while investors continued to fret over Greece.

Investor jitters pushed the dollar to a one-month high against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, putting pressure on dollar-denominated commodities.

An easing in recent heavy rain across the U.S. grain belt is helping farmers progress in wheat harvesting, and also allaying concerns about damage to developing corn and soybean plants.

The U.S. agriculture department on Monday rated the corn crop as 69 percent good to excellent, up 1 point from a week earlier, and ahead of market forecasts.

A relatively high wheat crop forecast from the farm ministry in France, the European Union's top grower, and positive anecdotal results from early wheat harvesting tempered concern about the impact of dry, hot weather.

France should harvest 37.9 million tonnes of soft wheat this year, up 1 percent compared with 2014, the farm ministry said on Tuesday in its first estimate of the 2015 crop.

It warned however that recent weather could have a yield impact and trade estimates were lower at around 36.5-37 million.

Wheat markets were also awaiting the results of a tender issued by top importer Egypt seeking wheat for shipment in Aug. 11-20.

U.S. wheat was expected to remain too expensive to be in contention, while there were also doubts about whether Russian wheat would be competitive given wrangling over the level of an export tax being applied.

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