Corn futures rise as China buying spree continues
Corn higher on continued Chinese demand
Markets digest Fed statement, U.S. export data
Soybeans pressured by Brazil crop, spillover from wheat
Updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, new headline, changes dateline from previous PARIS/SINGAPORE
By Cassandra Garrison
MEXICO CITY, March 23 (Reuters) -Chicago corn edged higher on Thursday, buoyed by another flash sale to China, while soybeans dipped on continued pressure from Brazil's ongoing harvest, analysts said.
Wheat futures eased, losing ground from gains earlier in the day.
Corn extended gains to a three-week high, as a run of export sales to China countered spillover pressure from wheat's slide this week.
China has purchased more than 2.5 million tonnes of corn since March 14, likely driven by the shipping window before Brazil's safrinha crop and concerns about a shorter 60-day extension of the Black Sea grains corridor, traders said.
"It looks like they're not going to be able to get the inputs that they had before. It's just buying food security," said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based broker U.S. Commodities.
Investment fund flows in the midst of upheaval in the banking sector are also thought to have contributed to price moves in grains.
Funds were short 60,000 contracts of corn and 100,000 contracts of wheat, traders said.
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Cv1 was up 0.2% at $6.34-3/4 a bushel by 1027 CDT (1527 GMT), after hitting its highest since Feb. 28 earlier in the session.
CBOT wheat Wv1 was up 0.23% to $6.65-1/4 a bushel, recovering from Wednesday's 20-month low of $6.54.
Soybeans Sv1 were down 1.48% to $14.27 a bushel, holding above a 3-1/2 month low touched on Wednesday.
Investors continued to wrestle with how recent monetary moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve may have a broader economic impact, while soybean and wheat futures were pressured by weaker than expected weekly U.S. export data.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said that export sales of wheat in the week ended March 16 totalled 138,600 tonnes, below trade forecasts.
Corn export sales were reported at 3.189 million tonnes, in line with expectations. Export sales of soybeans totalled 351,500 tonnes, below market forecasts.
Reporting by Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City and Karl Plume in Palm Springs, California. Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Kirsten Donovan
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