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GRAINS-Soybean up on strong demand, eyes potential U.S. trade war

* Brazil to boost soybean exports as drought cuts Argentina supply

* Wheat up in technical buying after sharp drop earlier in week

(Updates prices, adds details, quotes, changes dateline) SINGAPORE/PARIS, March 22 (Reuters) - Chicago soybeans futures rose for a third consecutive session on Thursday, supported by strong demand, and traders waited to see if U.S.-China trade tensions would hit the sector. Corn extended gains in the previous sessions while wheat also rose for a third session, although it failed to recover all the losses recorded on Monday when it hit a one-month low on prospects of more rains in the parched U.S. winter crop areas. The most-active soybeans contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.3 percent to $10.32-1/2 a bushel, having firmed 0.1 percent on Wednesday. Corn added 0.5 percent to $3.77 a bushel, having closed up 0.1 percent in the previous session. Wheat was up 1.2 percent to $4.58-3/4 a bushel by 0254 GMT. Prices dropped to lowest since February 22 at $4.46-3/4 a bushel on Tuesday before closing marginally higher. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would delay the release of its weekly U.S. export sales report by a day to Friday at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) due to inclement weather delays in the Washington, D.C., area. Worries about the impact of a potential trade war on U.S. grain and soy exports hung over the market, capping rallies, as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to announce up to $60 billion in import duties on Chinese goods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's attache in China put soybean imports in the 2018/19 season at 100 million tonnes, up from 97 million in 2017/18. "(China) is likely to switch as far as possible to alternative suppliers such as Brazil and Argentina though the drought-related crop outages in the latter are likely to make this more difficult," Commerzbank said in a note. Brazil's soybean farmers are poised to export a record volume of the oilseed this year as a drought reduces supplies from neighbouring Argentina, André Pessoa, founding partner of consultancy Agroconsult, said on Tuesday. Wheat rose on technical buying after a slump earlier in the week as weather forecasts suggested further showers across the southern Plains, potentially boosting crops. Meanwhile, India dropped a plan to double a wheat import tax to 40 percent, two government sources said, in a sign it expects imports to make up for a shortfall in domestic production for the third year in a row. Prospects of a large crop in Russia, one of the world's largest grain exporters, also weighed on the market with reports that winter grain sowings had survived the winter well, with only 3 to 5 percent in poor condition. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soyoil, soybean, soymeal and corn futures on Wednesday and net sellers of wheat, traders said. Prices at 1157 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd Move 2017 Pct

Move

CBOT wheat May 458.75 5.25 1.16 427.00 7.44 CBOT corn May 377.00 2.00 0.53 350.75 7.48 CBOT soy May 1032.50 2.75 0.27 951.75 8.48 Paris wheat May 164.00 1.25 0.77 162.50 0.92 Paris maize Jun 163.75 0.75 0.46 163.50 0.15 Paris rape May 348.25 0.75 0.22 347.75 0.14 WTI crude oil 64.98 -0.19 -0.29 60.42 7.55 Euro/dlr 1.23 0.00 -0.11

Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Jon Boyle)