GRAINS-Wheat falls 2 pct as rains boost U.S. crop outlook

* Dryness remains a concern in U.S. despite some showers

* China corn imports from U.S fall sharply in March

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat fell around 2 percent on Monday to its lowest in almost a week after much needed rains fell in the parched U.S. Plains over the weekend and more showers were forecast.

Corn and soybean prices were also lower.

Dealers said dryness in key U.S. hard red winter states such as Kansas remained a concern, although the rains were likely to have brought some relief.

"The rains over the weekend and the rains in the forecast are putting (downward) pressure on prices. Soil moisture is improving, although dryness is still an issue," one European grain broker said.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat for May delivery was off 2.0 percent at $6.77-1/4 a bushel at 1119 GMT after earlier dipping to $6.76-1/4 a bushel, its lowest since April 15.

"The weather is improving for wheat in the U.S. Plains," said Kaname Gokon, general manager of research at broker Okato Shoji in Tokyo.

Dealers were also keeping a close watch on developments in Ukraine, a major exporter of both wheat and corn.

At least three people were killed in a gunfight in the early hours of Sunday near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian separatists, shaking an already fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider conflict.

"It (the accord) is a step in the right direction, but all the tensions still exist," the European broker said.

The Paris-based European wheat futures market was shut on Monday with much of Europe on holiday.


CBOT May corn was off 0.8 percent at $4.91-1/4 a bushel, while May soybeans fell 0.4 percent to $15.07-1/2.

Dealers said corn prices were weighed down by improving planting conditions in the United States, weak exports to China and spillover weakness from the wheat market.

"Corn plantings should get a boost this week because of warmer temperatures in the Midwest," Gokon said.

Chinese corn imports from the United States in March fell 95 percent, year-on-year, customs data showed on Monday.

Dealers said the soybean market remained underpinned by concern about tight U.S. old crop supplies, although concerns remained about further cancellations by China.

Chinese buyers may default on a further 1.2 million tonnes of soybeans worth about $900 million, being shipped from the United States and South America, to avoid incurring huge losses in a depressed local market, the country's top soy buyer said.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by Jane Baird)