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GRAINS-Wheat at 3-week low as U.S. weather improves, corn eases for 4th session

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SINGAPORE, March 19 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat fell to its lowest in more than three weeks on Monday with the market facing pressure from abundant global supplies and improved weather in parts of the U.S. Plains. Corn dropped for a fourth consecutive session, while soybeans lost ground after closing higher for the last two sessions on support from a severe drought curbing Argentina's crop yields.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Expectations of improved weather in parts of the drought-hit U.S. southern Plains are adding pressure to wheat futures.

* At the same time, favourable weather ahead of spring grain sowing in Black Sea producers Russia and Ukraine is bolstering the chances of another large wheat harvest due to good levels of soil moisture, analysts and industry officials said.

* The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract hit its lowest since Feb. 22 at $4.62-1/4 a bushel. The market was trading down 0.5 percent at $4.65-1/2 a bushel at 0049 GMT.

* Corn gave up 0.4 percent to $3.81-1/4 a bushel and soybeans fell 0.7 percent to $10.42 a bushel.

* The decline in corn came despite strong demand for U.S. supplies.

* Importers are buying U.S. corn at the fastest pace since the mid-1990s, according to U.S. government data, as tightening stocks in Latin America prompt a rush to purchase cargoes of the grain from animal feeders worldwide.

* The drought in Argentina and limited corn supplies in Brazil, two of the three largest exporters, have opened a window of opportunity for top supplier the United States, which has the largest available surplus for export.

* The Rosario Grains Exchange on Thursday cut its estimate of Argentina's soy harvest to 40 million bushels from 46.5 million previously.

* That was also well below the 47 million tonnes forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this month.

* Large speculators raised their net long position in CBOT corn futures in the week to March 13, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

* The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and cut their net long position in soybeans.

MARKET NEWS

* Asian share markets got off to a hesitant start on Monday for a week in which the Federal Reserve is likely to deliver a hike in U.S. interest rates and perhaps signal that as many as three more lie in store for the rest of the year.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0130 China House prices Feb 1000 Euro zone Eurostat trade Jan

Grains prices at 0049 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 465.50 -2.25 -0.48% -4.76% 479.01 35 CBOT corn 381.25 -1.50 -0.39% -1.93% 379.44 52 CBOT soy 1042.00 -7.50 -0.71% +0.94% 1035.94 52 CBOT rice 12.44 -$0.03 -0.20% +0.77% $12.41 64 WTI crude 62.16 -$0.18 -0.29% +1.97% $61.76 54

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.227 -$0.009 -0.74% -0.93% USD/AUD 0.7718 -0.016 -2.02% -1.77%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)