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GRAINS-Corn rises for 2nd session on expectations of lower U.S. output

* Corn gains after Pro Farmer tour cuts output estimate

* Soybeans struggle as U.S. weather seen turning crop friendly (Adds quote in paragraph 3, details on speculators positions)

SINGAPORE, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures rose for a second consecutive session on Monday as forecast of lower U.S. production by a widely watched crop-tour underpinned prices.

Soybeans were under pressure on outlook for rain in some dry regions of the U.S. crop belt, while wheat slid after last week’s 7% jump.

“U.S. storm damage and Chinese demand are supporting corn prices,” said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank in Melbourne. “But we have lower demand for ethanol which will limit the upside potential.”

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.7% to $3.42-3/4 a bushel by 0233 GMT.

Soybeans were marginally down at $9.04-1/2 a bushel and wheat slid 0.2% to $5.34 a bushel.

Advisory service Pro Farmer projected U.S. corn and soybean harvests will be below the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) forecasts, with a corn crop of 14.820 billion bushels based on an average yield of 177.5 bushels per acre and a soybean crop of 4.362 billion bushels based on an average yield of 52.5 bushels per acre.

Tropical storms in the U.S. Gulf offered hope for much-needed rain in parts of the Midwest, a major growing region for corn and soybeans.

Exporters sold 405,000 tonnes of new crop corn and 400,000 tonnes of new crop soybeans for delivery to China, as well as 368,000 tonnes of soybeans bound for unknown destinations, according to the USDA.

Dry weather and storm damage across the U.S. Midwest coupled with strong U.S. export demand sparked speculators’ biggest buying week in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds in more than a year, and soybeans led the charge, Karen Braun, a market analyst for Reuters, wrote in a column.

When combining their moves in CBOT corn, wheat, soybeans and products, and Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat through Aug. 18, investors bought 201,537 futures and options contracts on the net, the most for a week since June 4, 2019. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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