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331592

GRAINS-Soybeans at near one-week low on improved U.S. crop condition

SINGAPORE, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures lost more ground on Tuesday with prices dropping to their lowest in almost one week after a U.S. government report showed slight improvement in crop condition.

Wheat gave up nearly 2% and corn fell 1.7% as Ukraine resumed maritime grain exports, raising hopes for higher world supplies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 1.5% at $13.84-3/4 a bushel, as of 0026 GMT, with the market trading close to its weakest since July 27.

* Wheat fell 1.9% to $7.84-3/4 a bushel and corn gave up 1.6% to $6.00 a bushel.

* A weekly crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed improved ratings for soybeans while conditions held steady for corn, defying trade expectations for downgrades.

* Condition ratings for the U.S. soybean crop unexpectedly rose in the past week after some weekend rain in places such as Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, the agency said after the market closed on Monday.

* The USDA pegged the soybean crop as 60% good-to-excellent, as of July 31, up 1 percentage point from a week earlier and in line with ratings from a year earlier.

* The corn crop was rated 61% good-to-excellent, flat from a week earlier but higher than expectations of rating at 60% good-to-excellent.

* Brazilian Agriculture Minister Marcos Montes said on Monday Chinese authorizations for Brazilian soymeal exporters may be granted in the space of two months.

* The European Commission has lowered its monthly forecast for this year's maize harvest in the European Union by 8%, or 5.9 million tonnes, joining other forecasters who have cut their expectations due to torrid weather in the bloc.

* The Commission now sees the EU corn crop at 65.8 million tonnes, compared with 71.7 million tonnes forecast in late June and 72.7 million tonnes harvested last year, supply and demand data posted late last week showed.

* Traders in the wheat market are closely monitoring resumption of grain shipments from the Black Sea region.

* The first ship to carry Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea since Russia invaded Ukraine five months ago left the port of Odesa for Lebanon on Monday under a safe passage deal described as a glimmer of hope in a worsening global food crisis.

* Still, key arrangements including procedures for ships still need to be worked out before empty vessels can come in and pick up cargoes from Ukraine using the new grains corridor, a senior London marine insurance market official said.

* Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soybean, soymeal, soyoil, corn and wheat futures contracts on Monday, traders said.

MARKET NEWS

* Wall Street ended a three-day winning streak and crude prices plunged on Monday, as economic data from the United States, Europe and China showed demand weakening under inflation pressures, while the looming possibility of recession curbed risk appetite.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0130 Australia Building Approvals June 0130 Australia Owner-Occupied Hous'g Fin MM June 0430 Australia RBA Cash Rate Aug 0600 UK Nationwide house price MM, YY July (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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