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GRAINS-Wheat hits 3-month low, set for weekly loss of 3%

CANBERRA, March 26 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell to hit a three-month low on Friday, as favourable weather across major producing regions pushed the grain towards weekly losses of nearly 3%.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.6% at $6.08-3/4 a bushel by 0240 GMT, near the session low of $6.08-1/4 a bushel - the lowest since Dec 28, 2020. Wheat closed down 2% on Thursday.

* Wheat is down nearly 3% for the week, the fourth straight weekly decline.

* Soybean futures were little changed for the week after closing up 0.2% last week.

* Corn futures slid 2% for the week, the biggest weekly drop since Jan 22.

* Much-needed moisture is expected this month across the U.S. Plains as well as in Russia, boosting production prospects in two major exporters.

* Agriculture consultancy IKAR raised its forecast for Russia’s 2021 wheat crop to 79.8 million tonnes, from 78 million previously.

* The International Grains Council forecast global grain production would climb to a record 2.287 billion tonnes in the 2021/22 season, but it expects the larger supply to be entirely absorbed by higher consumption.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar traded near multi-month highs against most major currencies on Friday, supported by a wave of optimism over improving U.S. economic data, the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, and rising Treasury yields.

* Oil prices bounced back on Friday from a plunge a day earlier on concerns that a large container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal may block the vital shipping lane for weeks, squeezing supply. (Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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