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333536

GRAINS-Corn hovers near 2-1/2-month high on U.S. supply concerns

* USDA cuts corn, soy supply estimates on harvest setbacks

* U.S. corn, soy ratings decline; corn 5% harvested - USDA

* Corn yield prospects sag; rain maintains bean hopes - Braun (Updates prices, adds analyst comment)

By Enrico Dela Cruz

Sept 13 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures edged up in Asian trading on Tuesday, hovering near their highest levels since end June hit in the previous session, following a reduced production outlook from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The most-traded corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.1% at $6.96-1/2 a bushel, as of 0410 GMT. It hit its highest price since June 27 on Monday.

Soybeans rose 0.1% to $14.89-1/4 a bushel, also trading near the strongest since end June after the USDA made bigger-than-expected cuts to its domestic harvest estimate.

U.S. corn and soybean supplies will fall to multi-year lows, as hot and dry weather during August in western growing areas cut into the harvest potential for both crops, the USDA said on Monday.

"The tight balance pattern of U.S. soybeans in the international market in 2022/23 is expected to continue, and it is difficult to completely change in a short period of time," analysts at Zhongzhou Futures in China said in a note.

Soymeal futures on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange rose more than 5% as trading resumed on Tuesday after a three-day weekend.

Condition ratings for the U.S. corn and soybean crops declined in the last week while the corn harvest began in southern reaches of the Midwest, the USDA added.

The first of 22 U.S. Crop Watch fields was harvested last week in Kansas, and the corn achieved the lowest possible yield rating on the 1-to-5 scale after an extremely dry and warm growing season, said Karen Braun, a market analyst for Reuters.

Wheat climbed 0.6% to $8.64 a bushel, supported near the previous session's two-month peak.

Russian wheat export prices rose last week with global benchmarks and demand from importers, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said on Monday. (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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