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GRAINS-Soybeans steady as South America rain chances assessed

* Rain forecast in parts of Brazil, Argentina curb soy, corn prices * Wheat stays weak as southern hemisphere supplies weigh (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures were little changed on Friday, steadying after touching a 10-day low as the market weighed prospects for rain relief in dry South American growing belts. Corn inched up after also touching a 10-day low as traders assessed to what extent expected showers could benefit parched crops in southern Brazil and Argentina. Chicago wheat ease further, pressured by a three-month low for Paris futures, as large wheat crops in South America and Australia increased competition in export markets. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.1% at $13.78 a bushel by 1300 GMT. It earlier fell to a 10-day low at $13.63-3/4 before steadying. "We were looking at a bigger drop in South American soybean production but with the recent weather outlook it might not be as bad as expected earlier," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. Weather forecasts show parched areas of Argentina, the world's top exporter of processed soy and No. 2 producer of corn, may receive significant rainfall from late this week. However, analysts are cautious about the benefit of any rain in Argentina after a heatwave exacerbated dryness linked to the La Nina climate pattern. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a crop report on Wednesday reduced its soybean and corn production forecasts for Brazil and Argentina, although by less than some private analysts. CBOT corn was up 0.4% at $5.89-3/4 a bushel. It earlier equalled Thursday's 10-day low of $5.85-1/4 before steadying. CBOT wheat was down 0.4% at $7.44, near an earlier one-week low, while March wheat on Paris-based Euronext was down 0.6% at 264.25 euros ($307.20) a tonne after earlier hitting a new three-month low. The International Grains Council on Thursday raised its forecast for 2021/22 global wheat production, partly driven by an improved outlook in Australia. Talk that Algeria would again overlook French supplies in its latest wheat import tender weighed on the European market. Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC made an initial purchase of wheat in the tender on Friday that was expected to be sourced from South America and the Black Sea region, traders said in early assessments. Prices at 1300 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2021 Move CBOT wheat 744.00 -2.75 -0.37 770.75 -3.47 CBOT corn 589.75 2.25 0.38 593.25 -0.59 CBOT soy 1378.00 0.75 0.05 1339.25 2.89 Paris wheat 264.25 -1.50 -0.56 278.50 -5.12 Paris maize 237.75 -1.25 -0.52 226.00 5.20 Paris rape 747.50 7.25 0.98 754.00 -0.86 WTI crude oil 82.50 0.38 0.46 75.21 9.69 Euro/dlr 1.14 0.00 -0.07 1.1368 0.68 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Jason Neely)

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