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GRAINS-Soybeans, corn retreat from highs on improving U.S. weather

Julie Ingwersen

(Updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, dateline, previous HAMBURG) CHICAGO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean and corn futures fell about 1 percent on Tuesday on improving harvest weather in the Midwest crop belt and some profit-taking a day after both commodities neared two-month highs, traders said. Wheat was mixed in choppy trade. As of 12:45 p.m. CDT (1745 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans were down 10-1/2 cents at $8.81 per bushel and December corn was down 3-3/4 cents at $3.74-1/2 a bushel. CBOT December wheat was up 1/4 cent at $5.25-1/4 a bushel. "Weather forecasts for the Midwest are looking drier. The U.S. soybean harvest has been slow and is certainly behind the five-year average but it is still too early to write it off," said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager with INTL FCStone. Following widespread storms last week that slowed fieldwork, the U.S. Department of Agriculture late Monday said the U.S. soybean harvest was 38 percent complete, lagging the five-year average of 53 percent and hardly up from 32 percent in the previous week. The corn harvest was 39 percent complete, still ahead of the five-year average of 35 percent. The USDA rated 66 percent of the soybean crop as good to excellent, down from 68 percent the previous week, while corn condition ratings were unchanged. "We are showing some damage from the last two weeks," said Ted Seifried, chief agriculture market strategist for brokerage Zaner Group in Chicago. However, the November soybean and December corn contracts retreated after failing to match Monday's highs, triggering profit-taking. "A lot of it is technical in nature. Yesterday November soybeans got to the 100-day (moving average) for the first time since June, and now we are pulling back. It's an obvious place for us to see a pull-back," Seifried said. CBOT wheat was mixed, with the December contract paring gains after hitting its highest in around two weeks on speculation that tightening global supplies will bring more export business to the United States. U.S. wheat exports look set for a strong second half of the 2018/19 season, the chairman of the USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board said. "The Russian export pace will slow, either priced out (of export markets) or because of a change in policy, so our (U.S.) exports will be weighted to the second half of the year," the World Agricultural Outlook Board's Seth Meyer said on the sidelines of a grains conference in London.

CBOT prices as of 12:48 p.m. CDT (1748 GMT):

Net Pct Volume

Last change change

CBOT wheat WZ8 525.25 0.25 0.1 42972CBOT corn CZ8 375.00 -3.25 -0.9 149886CBOT soybeans SX8 882.25 -9.25 -1.0 76608CBOT soymeal SMZ8 321.40 -5.60 -1.7 45398CBOT soyoil BOZ8 29.63 -0.13 -0.4 39347

NOTE: CBOT December wheat and corn and November soybeans shown in cents per bushel, December soymeal in dollars per short ton and December soyoil in cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Mark Potter and James Dalgleish)