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GRAINS-Corn falls on improved U.S. crop condition

Michael Hogan

* Corn drops as USDA sees U.S. crop in better condition

* Wheat falls, harvest pressure weighs

* (Recasts with European trade, adds new comment, changes dateline)

HAMBURG, July 30 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures fell on Tuesday after a weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report said the U.S. crop was in better condition than market forecasts.

"The positive picture of U.S. crop conditions given by the USDA on Monday along with positive U.S. weather is weakening corn and soybeans today," said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager with INTL FCStone. "Wheat is being pressured by the good harvest picture in the northern hemisphere."

Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract was down 0.7% at $4.24 a bushel at 1108 GMT. Wheat fell 0.4% to $501-1/2 a bushel, hovering around the psychologically-important $5 level. Soybeans fell 0.1% to $9.02-1/2 a bushel.

The USDA weekly crop progress report on Monday said 58% of U.S. corn was in good to excellent condition, up from 57% last week. Analysts had on average expected 57%.

The USDA's rating for U.S. soybeans was unchanged on the week at 54% good to excellent. Analysts had also estimated 54%.

"The USDA's reported that corn crop condition improved, which few in the market expected, while soybean condition was unchanged," Ammermann said. "This was against the background of overall good weather in the U.S. Midwest over the weekend with decent rain which will help crops."

"This is helping to keep the market weak ahead of the USDA's next world supply and demand estimates on Aug. 12."

Phin Ziebell of the National Australia Bank added: "The corn crop is looking better than what had been feared. Especially, given the challenging rains and then heat."

Traders are also watching the new round of U.S.-China talks this week to settle the trade war which has slashed U.S. soybean exports to China. But dealers were wary there could be a breakthrough.

"U.S. is downplaying expectations while no comments yet from the Chinese officials," brokerage Allendale said in a note.

The USDA said that 75% of U.S. winter wheat was harvested, up from 69% last week while analysts expected 81%.

"The USDA said the U.S. wheat harvest is a little slower than expected but progress is satisfactory and the market is not worried," Ammermann said.

"The northern hemisphere is making good progress with its wheat harvest and with perhaps half now finished the current outlook is for plentiful wheat supplies."

"The U.S. will face heavy competition in export markets in a period of sluggish demand. Against the stronger dollar, markets fall when there is concern about U.S. export competitiveness." (Reporting by Michael Hogan, additional reporting by Naveen Thukral, editing by Louise Heavens)