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Chicago futures firm as USDA report looms

By Gus Trompiz and Enrico Dela Cruz

PARIS/MANILA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Chicago grain futures edged higher on Monday with support from a weaker dollar as the market focused on U.S. government forecasts later in the day for a gauge of Midwest crops and global supply.

Traders were also assessing the situation in the Black Sea region after Ukraine reported more territorial gains against retreating Russian forces and following Moscow's criticism of a diplomatic deal covering Ukrainian grain exports.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.1% at $6.85-1/2 a bushel by 1106 GMT.

Wheat was up 0.5% at $8.74 a bushel, while soybeans added 0.2% to $14.15 a bushel.

CBOT futures recouped small earlier losses, helped by a steep fall in the dollar against a rallying euro.

Grain markets are awaiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) at 1600 GMT.

The agency is widely expected to lower its U.S. corn harvest forecast after drought-affected field conditions.

"The USDA's Sept. 12 WASDE is fast approaching, and the average trade expectations call for a -1.6% MOM (month-on-month) draw in global corn stocks on a U.S. yield-led production cut," J.P.Morgan analysts said in a note.

"A sharp increase in Russian wheat production and reduction in EU maize production is also likely," they said.

Warm, dry weather forecast in much of the central United States for the week ahead also underscored contrasting harvest prospects.

Kyiv said on Monday its forces had advanced further in the country's northeast to reclaim more territory previously held by Russia.

Uncertainty over supplies from the crucial Black Sea production region was heightened last week by Russian comments criticising the working of a U.N.-brokered agreement that has restarted grain shipments from Ukraine's sea ports.

France, meanwhile, announced on Sunday it would sign a deal with Romania to bolster alternative routes for Ukrainian grain exports.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Uttaresh.V and Ed Osmond)

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