PARIS/SINGAPORE- Chicago wheat, corn and soybean futures eased on Tuesday as the market set recent production setbacks against forecasts for some rain relief in the U.S. Midwest and uncertainty over the economic impact of a spreading coronavirus variant.
Traders were also digesting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report, released after Monday's market close, that showed a sharper-than-expected decline in U.S. corn conditions but better-than-anticipated ratings for soybeans and spring wheat.
"Grains and oilseed prices had rallied on the back of production concerns but now we have to see if these high prices are sustainable or not," said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank in Melbourne.
Wheat held on to most of its sharp gains from Monday, when it reached a near three-month peak, underpinned by reduced prospects for northern hemisphere harvests and steady demand from leading importers.
Russian agriculture consultancy Sovecon said on Monday it had cut its forecast for Russia's 2021 wheat crop by 5.9 million tonnes to 76.4 million tonnes.
Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, on Monday booked only one 60,000 tonne cargo in an international tender, paying much more than in a previous tender last week.
Traders were awaiting results from an Algerian wheat tender that began on Monday amid uncertainty over potential milling quality of the rain-disrupted wheat harvest in the European Union, Algeria's main supply zone.
However, the mounting cases of Delta coronavirus variant, including in China and the United States, were raising doubts over global demand.
"People are eating out less as COVID-19 cases are rising again. China is a big feed grain consumer and it is witnessing an increase in cases," Ziebell said.
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.5% at $5.56-3/4 a bushel by 1045 GMT.
CBOT wheat edged down 0.2% to $7.28 a bushel, holding close to Monday's high of $7.31-3/4. Soybeans Sv1 were down 0.6% at $13.45-1/2 a bushel.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Shailesh Kuber) ((email@example.com; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))