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333225

GRAINS-U.S. soy futures drop on Argentine export push; corn firm, wheat weak

(Updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote; pvs PARIS/SINGAPORE)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures fell 1.6% on Tuesday as Argentina's decision to offer farmers a better exchange rate for their crops threatened to raise export competition at a time when U.S. offerings typically dominate the market.

"It just makes more product readily available short term," said Mark Schultz, chief analyst at Northstar Commodity.

Argentina's farmers said on Monday the government's decision to improve the exchange rate for soybeans exported in September is a temporary "patch" that will likely boost sales of the crop during the month, but fails to solve root issues.

Corn futures edged higher, with concerns about harvest shortfalls across the U.S. Midwest underpinning prices while wheat futures weakened after recent rains provided a much-needed boost to soil moisture ahead of the planting of the winter crop.

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans were on track to post a lower closer for the fifth time in six sessions. Expectations for record U.S. production have acted as an anchor on prices as farmers prepare for harvest.

At 10:27 a.m. CDT (1527 GMT), CBOT November soybeans were down 25-1/4 cents at $13.95-1/4 a bushel.

"A surge in Argentina producer soybean sales over the coming days could be negative for CBOT soybean futures, but we will have to see how producers react to the 'soybean dollar' in coming days," said Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

CBOT December corn was 1-1/4 cents higher at $6.67 a bushel and CBOT December soft red winter wheat was off 5-3/4 cents at $8.05-1/4 a bushel.

The market will get an update on field conditions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress report later on Tuesday, before the agency updates its monthly supply and demand forecasts Monday.

Favorable early projections for Brazil's next soybean and corn crops were also capping U.S. prices. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Chizu Nomiyama)

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