PARIS/CANBERRA- Chicago corn was little changed on Tuesday, consolidating after a one-week high as the market weighed higher than expected weekly U.S. export volumes against a lull in Chinese demand.
Soybeans ticked down, curbed by signs of softening demand and harvest progress in Brazil despite recent rain disruption.
Wheat fell as U.S. crop ratings suggested moisture had benefitted winter wheat in dry parts of the U.S. Plains.
The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.1% at $5.50 a bushel by 1050 GMT, near a session peak of $5.52-1/2 a bushel - the highest since March 8.
Corn gained 1.9% in the previous session when it also touched a one-week top.
Weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data on Monday showed corn export inspections of 2.204 million tonnes, up from 1.673 million tonnes in the prior week and exceeding analysts' expectations.
"Prices are being bolstered by a faster pace of U.S. export clearance," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
However, traders were still watching to see if demand from China would pick up again after easing in recent weeks.
There was also caution as the market awaits indications of U.S. corn and soybean planting trends.
CBOT soybean futures were down 0.3% at $14.15 a bushel.
The U.S. soybean crush was below trade expectations in February, sinking to the lowest in 17 months, according to data released by the National Oilseed Processors Association on Monday.
Despite forecast downgrades for Argentina's upcoming soybean crop and concern about rain delays to Brazil's ongoing harvest, traders were starting to factor in the arrival of what is widely expected to be record Brazilian soybean production.
"It will become increasingly noticeable that half of the record-high Brazilian soybean crop has now been harvested, despite the delays due to rainfall, and is flooding onto the markets," Commerzbank said in a note.
CBOT wheat Wv1 was down 0.9% at $6.39-1/4 a bushel, after rebounding on Monday from a one-month low.
USDA data issued after the market close on Monday rated 38% of winter wheat in Kansas, the biggest U.S. producing state, in good to excellent condition, up from 36% a week earlier.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra. Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))