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334875

GRAINS-Corn falls for third session, soybeans down on U.S. harvest pressure

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U.S. corn, soybean harvest ahead of five-year average pace

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Market eyes news on key Black Sea grain export corridor

(Adds quote in paragraph 3, updates prices)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures lost more ground on Tuesday and soybeans slid, with prices of both commodities coming under pressure from the rapidly advancing U.S. harvest.

Wheat lost ground on expectations that the key Black Sea shipping lane will remain open for Ukraine grain exports despite escalation of war.

"U.S. harvest is running at a strong pace and it is replenishing supplies," said one Singapore-based grains trader. "But there are concerns about the slow pace of U.S. exports."

The most-active corn contract Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.3% at $6.81-1/4 a bushel, as of 0339 GMT. Soybeans gave up 0.4% to $13.80-1/4 a bushel and wheat dropped 0.8% to $8.54 a bushel.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on Monday showed that corn harvest was 45% complete, as of Oct. 16, slightly below market forecasts but ahead of the five-year average for mid-October of 40%.

The U.S. soybean harvest was 63% complete as compared with 44% a week ago and above the five-year pace of 52%.

Traders in the wheat market are closely watching development in the Black Sea region for a price direction. Prices rose on Monday after Russia told a United Nations representative that the extension of a Black Sea grain deal was dependent on the West easing restrictions on Russia's own agricultural and fertilizer exports.

But the wheat market gave up most of those gains when U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said officials held "positive and constructive" discussions in Moscow on expanding the deal.

Russian kamikaze drones hit tanks with sunflower oil at one of the terminals in the Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv late on Sunday, the city mayor said on Monday.

The wheat market is likely to be supported by dry weather in U.S. growing regions.

With planting roughly halfway complete, the 2023 U.S. hard red winter wheat crop is already being hobbled by drought in the heart of the southern Plains.

The drought threatens Kansas, the top winter wheat growing state, and Oklahoma in two ways: discouraging farmers who have not yet planted from trying, while threatening crops already in the ground from developing properly.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat and soyoil futures contracts on Monday, traders said. The funds were net sellers of corn and net even in soybeans and soymeal futures. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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