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GRAINS-Soybeans slips for third day on U.S. harvest pressure, wheat eases

* Harvest-friendly U.S. weather to boost soybean, corn supplies

* Wheat falls after closing higher, strong demand to limit decline (Adds quote in paragraph 3, details on Argentina’s soybean crushing, fund positioning)

SINGAPORE, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures slid for a third consecutive session on Wednesday, as U.S. harvest was expected to gather pace on the back of dry weather in the weeks ahead, boosting global supplies.

Wheat lost ground after closing higher on Tuesday although strong global demand is likely to keep a floor under the market.

“U.S. harvest is gathering pace but prices are unlikely to decline much as Chinese demand is pretty strong for soybeans and corn,” said one Singapore-based grains trader. “Even for wheat, prices of Black Sea wheat being offered in Asia have risen and we don’t see a big drop from wheat is being offered now.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) fell 0.2% to $10.17-1/2 a bushel by 0326 GMT.

Corn was down 0.3% at $3.68 a bushel and wheat gave up 0.4% to $5,56 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said late on Monday that farmers had completed 6% of the soybean harvest and that the corn harvest was 8% done.

Forecasts called for harvest-friendly weather over the next two weeks.

The USDA confirmed sales of 266,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China and 264,000 tonnes to unknown destinations, marking the 13th consecutive business day of sales to China.

It also reported sales of U.S. corn to China and unknown destinations.

Soybean crushing volumes in Argentina, the world’s top exporter of soymeal and soyoil, is set to drop around 9.5% this year, the head of the CIARA-CEC grains exporting chamber told Reuters on Tuesday.

Lower processing will prompt buyers to seek alternative destinations such as the United States and Brazil.

Egypt purchased 405,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at around $256 per tonne, including freight, up about $7 a tonne from what it paid in a similar tender last week.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday and net sellers of Chicago Board of Trade corn, soybean, soyoil futures contracts, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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