June 25, 2020 / 3:54 AM / 13 days ago

GRAINS-Corn drops for 4th session as U.S. weather boosts crop prospects

* Expectations of large U.S. output amid crop-friendly weather

* Wheat, soybeans ease as fresh COVID-19 cases hit recovery hopes (Adds quote in paragraph 3, technicals chart, global markets)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, June 25 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures slid for a fourth consecutive session on Thursday as a near-perfect weather across the U.S. Midwest lifted hopes of bumper production.

Soybeans and wheat lost ground as rapidly rising COVID-19 cases hit global commodity and stock markets.

“With a bumper 400 million tonnes of U.S. corn crop coming our way, it is hard to build a bullish argument for corn,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.2% at $3.23-3/4 a bushel by 0329 GMT, soybeans lost 0.2% to $8.68-1/4 a bushel and wheat fell 0.4% to $4.84 a bushel.

Forecasts for rains throughout the Midwest and generally mild temperatures tempered concerns about recently planted corn and soybean crops.

The lack of much stressful heat in the forecast was seen limiting any drag on development of the corn crop in the heart of the Midwest, which will be entering its crucial pollination stage in the coming weeks.

Traders were also beginning to square positions ahead of next week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture quarterly stocks and planted acreage reports.

On the technical front, the CBOT July corn contract may retest a support at $3.21-3/4 per bushel, a break below could cause a fall to $3.18-3/4, Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities wrote in a report.

A surge in coronavirus cases is adding further pressure on oil and agriculture commodities.

Asia’s stock markets slipped, bonds rose and the U.S. dollar was firm on Thursday as surging U.S. coronavirus cases, global trade tensions and an International Monetary Fund downgrade to economic projections knocked confidence in a recovery.

Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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