Chicago wheat, corn, soy firm after world supply/demand report

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Updates with closing prices; adds context

By Christopher Walljasper

CHICAGO, Feb 8 (Reuters) -Chicago wheat, corn and soybean futures firmed on Wednesday, supported by weather conditions in South America that hamper rival exports, though higher-than-expected U.S. supplies limited gains.

The most-active wheat contract Wv1 on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 15 cents to $7.64-3/4 a bushel.

CBOT soybeans Sv1 added 4-1/2 cents to end at $15.19-3/4 a bushel, while corn Cv1 firmed 4-1/2 cents at $6.78-1/2 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's increased U.S. corn and soybean ending stocks more than analysts expected, initially pressuring futures.

"Yes, we lost some ethanol, yes, we saw some soy crush drop, but that was mostly expected," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodities Analytics.

The USDA also made cuts to its forecast for Argentina's soybean crop due to drought conditions, though the reduction was less than other private estimates.

"I think everybody believes there's room for more downward revisions in Argentina," said Ed Duggan, Senior Risk Management Specialist at Top Third Ag Marketing.

South American weather continues to provide optimism in the United States, as rain in Brazil continues to delay soybean harvest, which competes with the United States on the global export stage.

"The longer they wait to get harvested, the longer the Chinese will have to wait to import from Brazil, which is friendly to U.S., and the longer they'll have to wait to plant that second corn crop," Duggan said.

Brazil's food supply and statistics agency Conab on Wednesday cut its forecast for the country's second corn crop, citing delays to soy harvesting.

Wheat remained underpinned by worries about drought in hard red winter wheat growing areas in the United States, heightened by weather forecasts showing the zones may miss out on ample precipitation expected in other U.S. grain belts.

Reporting by Christopher Walljasper; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Josie Kao and Sandra Maler


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