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GRAINS-Corn, soybeans extend losses as U.S. harvest pressure builds

* Corn drops as U.S. weekly report likely to show solid harvest progress

* Wheat firms, Asian market eyes bumper Australian crop (Adds quote in paragraph 3, details on Argentina’s export taxes)

SINGAPORE, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures slid for a second session on Monday with prices coming under pressure on expectations of a weekly U.S. report showing rapid harvest progress.

Soybeans fell, while wheat gained ground.

“U.S. harvest is progressing well as the weather has been pretty good,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. “Chinese buying has supported prices but if you look at the past, China’s imports of U.S. products have been normal, there is no unusually high demand.”

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.1% at $3.79-1/4 a bushel, as of 0316 GMT and soybeans fell 0.2% to $10.19-1/4 a bushel. Wheat added 0.3% to $5.75 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is due to issue a weekly crop progress report later in the day that is likely to show that farmers are harvesting corn and soybeans in near perfect weather.

Forecasts called for mostly dry weather in the weeks ahead next as combines roll across the U.S. Midwest.

Last week, all three markets closed higher, fuelled by tighter-than-expected quarterly U.S. stocks figures reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Private analytics firm IHS Markit Agribusiness, formerly known as IEG Vantage, on Friday cut its forecast of the average U.S. 2020 corn yield to 177.8 bushels per acre, from 178.1 a month ago, according to traders and an IHS client note seen by Reuters.

For soybeans, IHS Markit forecast the average U.S. 2020 yield at 51.9 bpa, down from its Sept. 4 figure of 52.1. The firm put soybean production at 4.294 billion bushels, down from 4.323 billion bushels last month.

Asian demand for Australian wheat is expected to bounce back in the months ahead as the country is estimated to produce its biggest crop in four years, offering stiff competition to suppliers in the Black Sea region.

Large speculators raised their net long position in CBOT corn futures in the week to Sept. 29, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and raised their net long position in soybeans.

Argentina has temporarily cut soybean export taxes by 3 percentage points to 30% to help stimulate trades, the government announced, as the country struggles with recession and dwindling foreign reserves.

Processed soymeal and soy oil levies will temporarily be cut to varying rates starting at about 28%, according to a detailed breakdown of the tax rates made available by the Economy Ministry on Friday. All the rates would then rise again incrementally until January. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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