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GRAINS-Soybeans firm, fast pace of U.S. harvest caps gains

SINGAPORE, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures ticked up on Tuesday but remained near two-week lows as the rapid pace of U.S. harvesting kept a lid on prices.

Corn rose for a third consecutive session, while wheat prices were little changed.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.1% to $9.97-1/2 a bushel, as of 0037 GMT, not far from last session’s lowest since Sept. 16 at $9.92 a bushel.

* Corn added 0.2% to $3.67-1/2 a bushel after gaining around half a percent in the last session while wheat was unchanged at $5.50-1/4 a bushel after climbing 1.1% on Monday.

* The U.S. soybean harvest was 20% complete as of Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a weekly crop progress report on Monday, ahead of the five-year average of 15% and the average estimate in a Reuters analyst poll of 18%.

* The corn harvest lagged slightly as producers focused on soybeans. The U.S. corn crop was 15% harvested, the USDA said, behind the five-year average of 16% and the average analyst estimate of 17%.

* Showers in parts of the Midwest on Monday were expected to give way to dry weather for the rest of the week, favoring field work.

* Traders were also squaring positions ahead of quarterly grain stocks reports due midweek from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* The loading of grains ships in Argentina was affected on Monday by a 24-hour strike by cargo inspectors demanding higher wages and shorter working hours, said Martin Brindici, general manager of the country’s private ports chamber.

* Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat and soyoil futures contracts on Monday and net sellers of soybean and soymeal futures, traders said.

MARKET NEWS

* Asian markets look set to rise on Tuesday, building on newfound momentum after bargain hunters helped a recovery in U.S. markets after last week’s selloff.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT, Sept) 0900 EU Consumer Confid. Final 1200 Germany CPI Prelim YY 1200 Germany HICP Prelim YY 1400 US Consumer Confidence (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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