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GRAINS-U.S. soy, corn futures hold near peaks; wheat firms

(Rewrites first paragraph, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote; pvs PARIS/MANILA)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade corn and soybean futures eased on Tuesday but remained near their nearly three-month highs as the government's reduced forecasts for this year's harvests continued to underpin prices, traders said.

Wheat futures were firm, supported by uncertainty over Black Sea supplies following Russian criticism of a diplomatic deal allowing maritime grain exports from war-torn Ukraine.

Soybeans notched their biggest rally since June 2021 on Monday after the U.S. Agriculture Department said that soybean production and yield would fall below the low end of market expectations.

A separate USDA conditions report on the soy crop on Monday afternoon that showed good-to-excellent ratings falling 1 percentage point added more support.

"There has been a lot of talk the last few days about the benefits of late August/early September rains, but that has not shown up in any of the data, so far," Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage, said in a note to clients.

At 10:49 a.m. CDT (1549 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures were down 5 cents at $14.83-1/4 a bushel.

The most-active soybean contract peaked at $15.08-3/4, its highest level on a continuous basis since June 23, during the overnight trading session.

"The tight balance pattern of U.S. soybeans in the international market in 2022/23 is expected to continue, and it is difficult to completely change in a short period of time," analysts at Zhongzhou Futures in China said in a note.

CBOT December corn was down 3 cents at $6.93 a bushel after hitting the highest for the most-active contract since June 27 on Monday.

A lower forecast for the U.S. corn crop had been anticipated by traders, but together with a drought-affected crop in Europe and war-disrupted exports from Ukraine revived worries about world supply.

CBOT December soft red winter wheat gained 9-1/4 cents to $8.68 a bushel. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Ed Osmond and Mark Porter)

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