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GRAINS-Soybeans, corn firm ahead of U.S. supply and demand outlook

* Market awaits USDA’s world report

* Ukraine war, U.S. weather underpin prices

* Soybeans firm on South American production cut (Updates with closing prices)

CHICAGO, April 7 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures climbed on Thursday, bolstered by eroding South American production and steady U.S. export sales.

CBOT wheat and corn futures eased ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly global supply and demand report due Friday, expected to reflect the potential impact of the war in Ukraine and planting trends in the United States.

The most-active CBOT soybean contract added 26 cents to $16.45-1/2 per bushel.

Nearby CBOT May corn added 1-1/4 cents to $7.57-3/4 per bushel, while new-crop December corn added 4-1/4 cents to $7.09.

CBOT wheat fell 15-1/2 cents to end at $10.25-1/4 per bushel.

South American soybean production continues to erode after the region was plagued by weather issues earlier in the growing season.

Brazil’s CONAB cut its soybean production estimate to 122.431 million tonnes from its previous forecast of 125.471 million, trimming its soy export forecast to 77 million tonnes from 80.1 million.

The USDA has been conservative in its downgrade of the Brazilian crop, but is expected to trim its estimate in Friday’s global supply and demand assessment.

“We’ll see if the USDA gets a little more aggressive tomorrow on the WASDE and cuts the Brazilian soybean crop,” said Jeff French, owner of Ag Hedgers.

U.S. exporters sold 1.099 million tonnes of soybeans the week ended March 31, in line with trade estimates and down nearly 40% from the week earlier and the same week last year, the USDA said.

“We continue to see a little bit of demand, but nothing like we thought we would. That’s kind of capping our gains a little bit,” said Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst at Agrivisor.

Nearby corn futures eased while new crop futures firmed as wet, cold weather slows early planting in the eastern United States.

U.S. exporters sold 927,600 tonnes of corn and 379,300 tonnes of wheat, both in line with analyst expectations.

U.S. wheat futures remain underpinned by drought-stricken winter crops up and down the U.S. Great Plains and the continuing war in Ukraine that has led analysts to project reduced Ukrainian export capacity through 2022/23. (Reporting by Christopher Walljasper; Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by David Gregorio)

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