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GRAINS-Corn, wheat up modestly as financial markets steady; soy lower

Julie Ingwersen

(Recasts; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes dateline from previous PARIS/SINGAPORE) CHICAGO, March 13 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and wheat futures were modestly higher on Friday as wider financial markets regained some ground after plummeting on fears of the economic fallout from the global coronavirus outbreak. But soybean futures fell, hitting life-of-contract lows as crop weather in South America improved, bolstering expectations of large harvests there. As of 1:01 p.m. CDT (1801 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade May corn was up 1-3/4 cents at $3.67-1/2 per bushel, turning higher after dipping to $3.63-1/2, a contract low and the lowest value for a most-active corn contract on a continuous chart since Sept. 12. CBOT May wheat was up 2-1/4 cents at $5.07-3/4 a bushel. Grains drew support from short-covering and a bounce in equity markets on hopes of a coordinated stimulus package from world governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens to slow down the global economy. However, CBOT May soybeans were down 9 cents at $8.50-1/2 a bushel after hitting $8.45-1/4, the cheapest price for a most-active soybean contract since May 28, 2019. Argentina's Buenos Aires Grains Exchange on Thursday lowered its estimate of the country's 2019/20 soybean crop to 52 million tonnes, from 54.5 million previously, citing hot and dry weather. But beneficial rains have since fallen in parts of Argentina's crop belt, and outlooks called for more in the next week. "There were question marks on their crop, but then the forecast is wet. So that aids the dry conditions," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities.

CBOT prices as of 1:00 p.m. CDT (1800 GMT):

Net Pct Volume

Last change change

CBOT wheat WK0 507.50 2.00 0.4 58850CBOT corn CK0 367.75 2.00 0.6 155929CBOT soybeans SK0 851.00 -8.50 -1.0 134514CBOT soymeal SMK0 300.30 -2.50 -0.8 64016CBOT soyoil BOK0 26.39 0.01 0.0 78146

NOTE: CBOT May wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per bushel, soymeal in dollars per short ton and soyoil in cents per pound.

(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu/David Evans/Susan Fenton)

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