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Grain futures mostly higher with Midwest crop conditions in focus

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Investing.com - U.S. grain futures were mostly higher on Wednesday, as market players continued to monitor crop conditions in the U.S. Midwest.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, corn futures for December delivery traded at USD4.5563 a bushel, up 0.3%. The December corn contract ended down 0.55% at USD4.5400 a bushel on Tuesday.

Prices held in a range between USD4.5338 a bushel, the session low and a daily high of USD4.5650 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency said on Tuesday that crop-insurance claims covered 3.57 million acres of corn as of September 1, up from 3.41 million in August.

On Monday, the USDA said that 53% of the U.S. corn crop was rated in 'good' to 'excellent' condition as of last week, down from the 54% in the preceding week.

The agency said last week that the U.S. corn crop will total 13.84 billion bushels in the 2013 marketing season, up 0.6% from its August forecast and the largest crop on record.

Elsewhere on the CBOT, soybeans futures for November delivery traded at USD13.4275 a bushel, little changed. The November soy contract settled 0.45% lower at USD13.4240 a bushel on Tuesday.

Prices of the oilseed traded in a range between USD13.3638 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD13.4588 a bushel.

Soybean claims covered 1.69 million acres, compared with 1.62 million in August.

Approximately 50% of the soy crop was in 'good' to 'excellent' condition as of September 15, down from 52% a week earlier.

The agency lowered its forecast for the U.S. soybean crop to 3.149 billion bushels last week, down 3% from its estimate in August.

Soybean stockpiles will total 150 million bushels the end of the current crop year on August 31, 2014, below analysts' expectations for 161 million bushels.

Meanwhile, wheat for December delivery traded at USD6.4525 a bushel, up 0.3%. The December contract settled 0.3% higher at USD6.4300 a bushel on Tuesday.

Wheat futures traded in a range between USD6.4200 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD6.4600 a bushel.

Farmers filed crop-insurance claims on 1.98 million acres of wheat, up from 1.74 million in August, according to the report.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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