GRAINS-Corn set for biggest monthly gain since May 2019 on U.S. dryness

* Corn up almost 11% in August as dry weather to curb U.S. yields

* Soybeans at highest in over 2 years, poised for 3rd monthly gain (Recasts with corn; adds quote in paragraph 3, speculators positions)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures gained more ground on Monday and were poised for their biggest monthly rise since mid-2019, as dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest is expected to reduce production.

Soybeans rose 1.5% to hit a more than two-year high and were on track for a third monthly gain, while the wheat market was set to finish August on a positive note.

"Warm and dry conditions in some of the U.S. Midwest continue to give the market a bias higher," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "U.S. export sales though need to continue to validate these higher price levels."

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade gained 0.8% to $3.62-1/4 a bushel, as of 0304 GMT, the highest since early July. Corn has risen almost 11% so far in August.

Soybeans were up 1.5% at $9.64-2/3 a bushel, after climbing earlier in the session to their highest since June 2018 at 9.66 a bushel. Wheat was set for a second monthly gain, up 4% so far in August.

Dry weather persists across the U.S. Midwest, curbing yields of what was forecast to be a record corn crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said private exporters reported sales of 324,032 tonnes of corn to unknown destinations.

The European Commission cut its 2020/21 forecast for all cereals in the European Union's 27 countries, with usable common wheat production now expected at 113.5 million tonnes, down from the 116.6 million estimated a month ago.

The French common wheat, or soft wheat, crop stood at 29.5 million tonnes, while the German one was estimated at 19.9 million tonnes and the Polish one at 11.8 million tonnes, the Commission said without giving comparative figures.

Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to Aug. 25, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net short position in CBOT wheat while raising net long position in soybeans. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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