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GRAINS-Corn rises after deep losses, U.S. rain forecasts cap gains

* Corn firms after 3 days of losses, U.S. weather in focus * Chicago soybeans tick up after closing lower, wheat firms (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose for the first time in four sessions on Thursday as bargain buying lifted prices, but gains were limited on expectations of favourable rains across the U.S. Midwest. Soybeans edged higher after closing lower, while wheat firmed although ample supplies kept a lid on the market. Forecasts for some rain in key growing areas of the U.S. Midwest in the coming weeks is adding pressure on the corn market and bolstered the production view issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday. The Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract rose 0.6% to $3.72-1/2 a bushel by 0334 GMT, soybeans added 0.4% to $8.81-1/2 a bushel and wheat gained 0.5% to $4.76 a bushel. Corn prices dropped to their lowest since mid-May on Wednesday, having lost more than 11% in the last three sessions. The USDA surprise boost to its corn production forecast continues to hang over the market. But analysts warned that U.S. corn crop is still vulnerable. "U.S. corn crops are still behind their usual development cycle, so the chance of weather-crop mismatch is greater," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Too hot for some phases and, later, too cool for other phases can still have a material impact on yields." Analysts are expecting a USDA report later on Thursday to show weekly export sales of soybeans between 150,000 tonnes and 700,000 tonnes. A week ago, soybean export sales totalled 419,914 tonnes. Wheat harvesting is coming to an end in the European Union's top producing countries but repeated rains in recent weeks are causing concerns about quality loss in some areas, experts said on Wednesday. Harvesting is almost finished in France, Germany and Poland but rains are interrupting work in Britain. German wheat exporters are seeking access to new markets including China, Mexico and Indonesia, an industry association said, following signals that Saudi Arabia is about to open up to imports from Russia. Saudi Arabia has been Germany's biggest market for wheat exports in recent years, but German firms face much tougher competition after Saudi state grain buyer SAGO said last Thursday that it will relax quality specifications for wheat imports from its next tender. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Wednesday. They were net buyers of wheat, traders said. Grains prices at 0334 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 476.00 2.25 +0.47% +0.85% 495.84 39 CBOT corn 372.50 2.25 +0.61% -1.06% 422.18 20 CBOT soy 881.50 3.50 +0.40% -0.84% 894.71 47 CBOT rice 11.45 -$0.05 -0.43% -0.04% $11.78 40 WTI crude 55.00 -$0.23 -0.42% -3.68% $56.39 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.114 $0.001 +0.04% -0.23% USD/AUD 0.6779 0.003 +0.47% -0.31% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V and Gopakumar Warrier)

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