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GRAINS-Wheat prices fall 1 pct, set for 1st weekly loss in 8 as US weather improves

* Wheat set to finish week down 1.4 pct on U.S. rain forecast * Chicago Corn futures eye 2nd week of gains on strong demand (Adds comment, detail) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, March 9 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices slid around 1 percent on Friday and were set for their first weekly decline in eight weeks, pressured by an improving outlook for the U.S. winter wheat crop and ample world supplies. Corn futures edged lower, retreating from a more than seven-month high, but the grain was set to finish the week up nearly 2 percent after a widely watched crop report said end of season supplies would be lower than expected. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade is down 1.2 percent this week, its first fall in almost two months. Corn is up 1.8 percent for the week, extending two-week gains to more than 7 percent. The market climbed on Thursday to $3.93-3/4 a bushel, the highest since July. Soybeans have lost 1.4 percent this week after gaining for the past four weeks. "There is some improvement in the weather forecast for the U.S. winter crop," said one India-based commodities analyst. "On the supply front, even if we assume the U.S. winter wheat yield drops by 10 to 15 percent, there is still a lot of inventory across the world." Wheat prices eased as the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the condition of crops in several key producing regions had picked up, with brighter weather forecasts also improving the outlook for crops. The agency in a state crop report on Monday rated 13 percent of the Kansas winter wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition, up from 12 percent in a monthly report released Feb. 26. The USDA rated Oklahoma's wheat as 6 percent good-to-excellent, up from 4 percent in a Feb. 26 monthly report. U.S. corn supplies will be smaller than expected due to strong export demand and rising ethanol production, the USDA said on Thursday. The USDA in its monthly supply and demand outlook cut the forecast for Argentina corn and soy production but increased its estimate for soy production in Brazil, the top global soy producer and exporter. Weekly data showed U.S. corn exports last week at 1.9 million tonnes and soybean sales of 2.7 million tonnes - both above the range of analyst expectations. Weekly sales of 428,400 tonnes of U.S. wheat were within the range of estimates. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and wheat futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of soybeans, soymeal and soyoil futures, traders said. Grains prices at 0320 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 493.50 -5.75 -1.15% -0.75% 476.03 64 CBOT corn 392.00 -1.50 -0.38% +1.23% 376.10 77 CBOT soy 1056.00 -8.00 -0.75% -0.87% 1030.15 55 CBOT rice 12.45 $0.02 +0.12% -0.28% $12.45 54 WTI crude 60.15 $0.03 +0.05% -1.64% $62.38 32 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.231 $0.000 -0.02% -0.85% USD/AUD 0.7778 -0.001 -0.14% -0.58% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by Joseph Radford)

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