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GRAINS-Soybeans up on biodiesel hopes, corn edges up from near 5-month low

(Updates prices, changes dateline/byline)

* Corn prices up for first time in four sessions

* Crop tour pegs corn yields below USDA f'cast

* Wheat edges higher, soybeans firm

SYDNEY/PARIS, Aug 24 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose 0.5 percent on Thursday on expectations of higher demand from the biodiesel sector while corn edged higher after a widely watched tour reported lower yield estimates in key producing regions. Wheat futures were also firm on strong demand but new signs of a hefty Russian harvest capped gains. The most active soybean futures were up 0.4 percent at $9.41-3/4 a bushel, having closed little changed in the previous session. Soybeans were supported as Argentine biodiesel exports are expected to be priced out of the U.S. market after Washington decided on Tuesday to impose steep duties on imports that it said were unfairly subsidized. Gains were capped after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters canceled sales of 640,970 tonnes of U.S. soybeans sold to China for delivery in the 2016/17 marketing year. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were trading up 0.1 percent at $3.56 a bushel, having earlier hit a low of $3.55-1/4 a bushel - the lowest since March 31. Corn closed down 1.2 percent on Wednesday and has slid more than 7 percent this month. The uptick in support came as the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour said Illinois corn yields are projected to fall about 6.6 percent from last year's near-record crop after surveying 205 fields across the No. 2 corn-producing state. Corn yield potential and soybean pod counts were also lower from a year ago and below the three-year average across western Iowa, with the crops showing signs of stress from dryness during June and July, scouts on an annual tour found on Wednesday. The most active wheat futures were up 0.5 percent at$4.32 a bushel after closing up 0.2 percent on Wednesday.

Prices at 1144 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd Move 2016 Pct

Move

CBOT wheat Mar 432.00 2.00 0.47 408.00 5.88 CBOT corn Mar 356.00 0.25 0.07 352.00 1.14 CBOT soy Mar 941.75 3.75 0.40 1004.00 -6.20 Paris wheat Dec 160.50 0.00 0.00 175.00 -8.29 Paris maize Nov 158.50 -0.25 -0.16 170.00 -6.76 Paris rape Aug 372.00 1.25 0.34 380.25 -2.17 WTI crude oil 48.17 -0.24 -0.50 53.72 -10.33 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 -0.03

Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Elaine Hardcastle)