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GRAINS-Wheat falls more than 2.5% to lowest in nearly a week

Colin Packham and Sybille de La Hamaide

(Updates prices, adds quote)

* Market fears ease over widespread crop damage Corn follows wheat lower; soybeans edge down

SYDNEY/PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell more than 2.5% 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 dropped 2% and soybeans dipped 0.6%. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 2.6% at $4.94-1/4 a bushel by 1040 GMT. It earlier hit a session low of $4.93, the lowest since May 30. In the previous session, wheat lost 2.4%. "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, a commodities analyst with 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 fall on U.S. markets pushed European wheat futures down, with front month September falling as much as 2% before paring losses. The contract was trading 1.8% lower by 1040 GMT at 179.25 euros per tonne, still well below the psychological mark of 180 euros. The most-active corn futures were down 2% at $4.16-3/4 a bushel after closing up 0.2% on Tuesday. Despite the fall, analysts said corn remained 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% at $8.76-1/4 a bushel, having closed up 0.3% 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%.

Prices by 1040 GMT Last Change Pct End YtdMove 2018 Pct

Move

CBOT wheat 494.25 -13.00 -2.56 503.75 -1.89CBOT corn 416.75 -8.50 -2.00 375.00 11.13CBOT soy 876.25 -5.50 -0.62 895.00 -2.09Paris wheat 179.25 -3.25 -1.78 190.50 -5.91Paris maize 175.25 -2.50 -1.41 187.25 -6.41Paris rape 367.75 -2.00 -0.54 362.25 1.52WTI crude oil 53.23 -0.25 -0.47 45.41 17.22Euro/dlr 1.13 0.00 0.20

(Editing by Dale Hudson)