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GRAINS-Soybeans set for first monthly gain in four, China demand supports

* Chinese buying of U.S. cargoes supported beans in recent weeks

* Expectations of bumper U.S. harvest to limit gains in futures (Adds details on U.S. soybean crush, quote in paragraphs 3-4)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, June 30 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures edged higher on Tuesday, with strong demand from top importer China setting the market on course to end June in positive territory after three months of losses.

Corn eased for the day, but prices were headed for their second monthly gain in a row, while wheat was set to fall in June.

"China has been building inventories which is positive for prices," said a Singapore-based trader at an international trading company.

"Soybean acreage in the United States is expected to be higher and the crop is looking good after beneficial weather, but August is a crucial month for beans."

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) has risen nearly 3% in June and the market was trading 0.2% higher at $8.63-1/4 a bushel as of 0341 GMT.

Corn has gained marginally in June, while wheat has given up more than 7% this month.

The wheat market has lost close to 15% in the second quarter of 2020.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said 71% of the U.S. soybean crop is in good-to-excellent condition, compared with 70% in the previous week. Analysts had expected no change.

The agency rated 73% of the U.S. corn crop in good-to-excellent condition in a weekly progress report, matching the average of estimates in a Reuters poll.

The USDA will issue its key quarterly reports later in the day. Analysts expect the USDA to show a modest shift in U.S. plantings from corn to soybeans.

The May U.S. soybean crush is expected to dip to 5.421 million short tons, or 180.7 million bushels, according to the average forecast of seven analysts surveyed by Reuters. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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