GRAINS-Soybeans near 2-week low as improved U.S. crop weather weighs
* Soybeans down for 2nd day as USDA report show improved rating
* Wheat, corn futures edged higher; ample supplies to cap gains (Recasts with change in direction, adds quote in paragraph 3)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, July 29 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures lost more ground on Wednesday to trade near a two-week low, weighed down by expectations of a bumper U.S. harvest this autumn.
Corn ticked higher, while wheat rose for the first time in three sessions.
"Soybeans ... fell when the USDA reported improved U.S. crop conditions," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
The most-active Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybean contract slid 0.1% to $8.87 a bushel by 0309 GMT, not far from Tuesday's low of $8.83 a bushel - its weakest since July 16.
Wheat rose 0.4% to $5.25-3/4 a bushel and corn gained 0.2% at $3.30-3/4 a bushel.
Forecasts called for beneficial weather in most of the U.S. crop belt, including welcome rains in the southern Midwest later this week.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday rated 72% of the U.S. corn and soybean crops in good-to-excellent condition. Both figures were up from 69% the previous week and topped a range of trade expectations.
The USDA on Monday confirmed U.S. soybean export sales to China, along with shipments to Mexico. It was the 10th straight day that the USDA announced soybean sales to either China or unknown destinations, often believed to be China.
The area planted with soybeans in Brazil is expected to increase by almost 3% in the next season, to a record 38 million hectares, while production is also projected to reach a historic 127.3 million tonnes, according to Rabobank estimates on Tuesday.
This year's soft wheat harvest in the European Union is expected to be sharply lower than last year due to adverse weather conditions, with disparate results including poor crops France and southeastern EU and a better outlook in Poland and Germany.
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, on Tuesday bought 470,000 tonnes of wheat in an international purchase tender, including 350,000 tonnes of Russian-origin and 120,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain.
Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean, wheat, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Tuesday, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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