GRAINS-Wheat slips but still on track for weekly gain
* EU wheat underpinned by Black Sea quality concerns
* CBOT soybeans slip to lowest level since August 23
* Corn still weighed by forecasts for huge U.S. crop
(Adds quotes, updates prices)
LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures were lower on Friday in a modest setback following strong gains earlier in the week, while corn and soybeans also eased slightly as the market waited for harvesting to start gathering pace in the U.S.
Chicago Board of Trade December wheat fell 0.3 percent to $6.55-1/4 a bushel by 1101 GMT, having hit a 16-day high in the previous session.
The contract is still on track for a weekly gain of around 2.2 percent.
"Wheat has had some solid gains in the last couple of days, but we haven't had much news to support those gains today so it has fallen a bit on profit taking," said Luke Mathews, commodities strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Wheat prices rose on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said exporters shipped more last week to global buyers than in any week in at least the past 23 years, with most of the grain headed for China and Brazil.
Analysts said the demand from Brazil, which bought more than 120,000 tonnes and is not typically a big buyer of U.S. wheat, was driven by poor crop weather in South America.
Argentina cut its 2013/14 wheat area estimate to 3.4 million hectares (8.4 million acres) on Thursday from a previous forecast of 3.9 million hectares, citing dry planting conditions.
Milling wheat futures in Paris were also lower with November off a marginal 0.1 percent at 185.50 euros a tonne.
Dealers said export prospects in the European Union could be improved by quality problems in the Black Sea region.
"Reports of growing concerns over the quality of Russian/Kazakhstan wheat supplies may underpin EU markets, as export demand, especially Egypt, may switch to the EU," David Sheppard, managing director of UK merchant Gleadell, said.
"At the last tender French values were about $10/t too expensive, but with exporters struggling to source 'export spec' Black Sea wheat, interior prices have risen, narrowing the differential," he added in a market note.
Soybeans prices fell with November off 1.0 percent at $13.25-3/4 a bushel after earlier dipping to $13.22-1/2, the contract's lowest level since Aug. 23.
"With harvest approaching in the U.S. the market remains split between the potential for tight U.S. soybean supplies (depending on soybean yields) against an adequate worldwide supply of oilseeds," Gleadell trading manager Jonathan Lane said.
December corn fell 0.3 percent to $4.58 a bushel, having closed up 0.7 percent on Thursday.
Corn has drawn some support this week from a stalling U.S. harvest but the prospect of a bumper crop continues to weigh on pries, analysts said.
The USDA last week forecast the corn crop at 13.8 billion bushels. A weekly crop report showed the corn harvest was 4 percent complete by Sunday.
(Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney, editing by William Hardy)