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GRAINS-Wheat drops 2% as market worries over crop damage ease

Colin Packham

* USDA says wheat crop condition improved last week

* Corn falls 1.5% despite planting delays

* Soybeans dip, but planting well below average

SYDNEY, June 5 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell 2% on Wednesday as fears eased about the potential for widespread crop damage after recent heavy rains, pushing prices to a near one-week low. Corn fell nearly 1.5%, while soybeans dipped 0.6%. The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 1.8 percent at $4.98 a bushel by 0156 GMT, near the session low of $4.97 a bushel - the lowest since May 30. Wheat closed down 2.4 percent in the previous session. "The market was worried about crop damage after the recent heavy rains but the U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report showed an improvement in the quality," said Angus Thornton, commodities analyst, Profarmer. The USDA said 64% of U.S. winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, up from 61% last week and ahead of expectations of 59%. The most active corn futures were down 1.5% at $4.19 a bushel after closing up 0.2% on Tuesday. Despite the fall, analysts said corn remains underpinned by concerns over slow planting in the United States. The USDA said in a report after the market close on Monday that U.S. corn planting was 67% complete, below market expectations of 71% and well below the average pace of 96% at this time of year The most active soybean futures were down 0.6 percent at $8.76-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 0.3 percent on Tuesday. The USDA said U.S. soybean planting was 39% complete, below market expectations of 42% and significantly below the average pace of 79%.

Grains prices at 0156 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 498.00 -9.25 -1.82% -4.18% 462.27 55CBOT corn 419.00 -6.25 -1.47% -1.24% 383.60 63CBOT soy 876.50 -5.25 -0.60% -0.28% 845.56 62CBOT rice 11.67 -$0.01 -0.09% -0.21% $11.08 71WTI crude 53.15 -$0.33 -0.62% -0.19% $60.69 15

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.126 $0.001 +0.07% +0.17%USD/AUD 0.6997 0.001 +0.10% +0.30%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)