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GRAINS-U.S. corn, soybean futures fall ahead of USDA report; wheat mixed

(Updates with closing prices)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soybean and corn futures fell on Tuesday as investors squared positions ahead of the U.S. government's key monthly reports on global supply and demand.

Traders were focused on the size of the corn and soybean harvests in Argentina as drought stressed the crops in that key global supplier throughout planting and early periods of development.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide a fresh update on its view of the damage done to harvest prospects in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report on Wednesday.

"Normally February is a benign report, (but) Argentina is going to be kind of the wild card," said Terry Reilly, senior analyst at Futures International.

Wheat futures were mixed. K.C. hard red winter wheat contracts rose on concerns about tight supplies of high protein wheat and fresh forecasts for dry weather in key production areas of the U.S. Plains.

But the most-active Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat contracts were weaker on prospects for a strong crop in the U.S. Midwest and concerns about U.S. supplies struggling to find traction on the export market.

CBOT March soybean futures settled down 6 cents at $15.15-1/4 a bushel. CBOT March corn was off 5 cents at $6.74 a bushel.

CBOT March soft red winter wheat ended down 1/2 cent at $7.49-3/4 a bushel, while K.C. March hard red winter wheat gained 10-1/2 cents to $8.86-1/2 a bushel.

Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC

started buying milling wheat

in a tender on Tuesday, with prices indicating that the wheat could be sourced from the west EU, east EU/Black Sea region and Russia, traders said.

Jordan's state grain buyer is believed to have

made no purchase

in an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Matthew Chye in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Tomasz Janowski and Paul Simao)

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