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GRAINS-Wheat rises from 2-1/2-month low on bargain buying, soybeans ease

* Soybeans fall for 3rd session, hit lowest since June 30

* Corn edges up after 2 pct loss on forecasts for big harvests

(Adds details, quotes) SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday as bargain-buying followed the deep losses in the last session that drove the market to its lowest since early June. Soybeans slid for a third consecutive day, dropping down to a 1-1/2-month low as rains boosted U.S. crop prospects, while corn held near Tuesday's seven-week low. The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract gained 0.4 percent to $4.31-1/4 a bushel by 0337 GMT. Earlier in the session the market dropped to $4.28 a bushel, matching Tuesday's low and the weakest since June 5. Soybeans slid 0.2 percent at $9.22-3/4 a bushel, after earlier touching the weakest since June 30 at 9.22 a bushel. Corn added 0.1 percent at $3.69 a bushel. Corn slumped 2 percent in the previous session to its lowest since June 29 at $3.67-1/2 a bushel. "We are looking at another record production year for wheat in Russia, that is the main bearish influence," said one agricultural commodities analyst. "But there should be good demand for U.S. wheat at these prices. Competitiveness of U.S. wheat has increased as compared with offers being made for the European Union and Argentina." Wheat prices are under pressure as improved crop outlooks in several exporting nations are keeping a lid on the market. Corn has been weighed down by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's better-than-expected crop report on Monday. Rains were falling in parts of Nebraska and Iowa and the storm system was forecast to move east, likely increasing yield potential for corn and soybeans and further weighing on prices. There was additional bearish influence for the corn market from South America. Argentina's corn area will expand to a record of more than 5 million hectares in the 2017/18 season, which starts planting in September, thanks to favourable climate conditions and attractive margins. Analysts said area planted would likely grow between 5 percent and 10 percent from a year ago. Corn planting in Argentina has been rising since President Mauricio Macri's government eliminated export taxes and restrictions last year. U.S. soybean processors ramped up their pace of crushing during July, the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said on Tuesday. NOPA said its members crushed 144.718 million bushels during July, the second-biggest July total on record and up from 138.074 million bushels in June. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean and wheat futures contracts on Tuesday, traders said.

Grains prices at 0337 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 431.25 1.75 +0.41% -2.21% 484.20 23 CBOT corn 369.00 0.50 +0.14% -1.93% 387.70 34 CBOT soy 922.75 -1.50 -0.16% -1.65% 988.84 26 CBOT rice 12.20 -$0.04 -0.37% -1.13% $12.14 46 WTI crude 47.73 $0.18 +0.38% +0.29% $47.57 40

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.174 $0.000 +0.03% -0.35% USD/AUD 0.7830 0.001 +0.15% -0.24%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Tom Hogue)