GRAINS-Soybeans set for 4th week of gain on demand hopes, Brazil dryness

* Soybeans up 1.4 pct this week on strong demand

* Dry weather is Brazil underpins Chicago soybean futures

* Wheat on track for biggest weekly gains since early July

(Adds details, quotes) SINGAPORE, Sept 15 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans eased slightly on Friday, but the market is poised for a fourth straight week of gains on the back of strong demand and dry weather in Brazil where planting is due to start. Wheat is set for its biggest weekly gain in more than two months as short-covering drives prices higher. The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract is up 1.4 percent this week while wheat has risen 1 percent, after closing last week little changed. Corn is down 1 percent for the week, its first loss in three. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported export sales of U.S. soybeans in the latest week at 1.6 million tonnes, topping a range of trade expectations for 1.0 million to 1.3 million tonnes. Separately, the agency said private exporters sold another 198,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China. The soybean market was trading down 0.1 percent at $9.75-1/2 a bushel by 0335 GMT, wheat 0.2 percent lower at $4.42-1/4 a bushel and corn down 0.3 percent at $3.53-1/4 a bushel. Still, leading oilseed industry analyst Thomas Mielke said soybean imports by China, the world's biggest buyer, are likely to remain unchanged in 2017/18 at this year's record level of 93 million tonnes due to a rise in domestic production and higher carry-forward stocks. There was additional support for the soybean market stemming from dryness in Brazil. "The market is also discussing dry conditions in Brazil where soybean planting will begin next month," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Soybean regions in Brazil's Centre South and Centre West are very dry. And the market is joining that starting point with a modest La Nina event that is evolving in the Pacific Ocean." The wheat market is being underpinned by short-covering and slight reduction in global supplies estimated by the USDA. Flooding over last weekend in Argentina could cause a loss of 70,000 hectares of wheat plantings, out of a total 5.35 million hectares planted with the grain in the 2017-18 season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday.

Grains prices at 0335 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 442.25 -0.75 -0.17% -0.23% 447.38 60 CBOT corn 353.25 -1.00 -0.28% +0.50% 362.37 45 CBOT soy 975.50 -0.50 -0.05% +1.56% 950.63 64 CBOT rice 12.81 $0.00 +0.00% -1.08% $12.65 54 WTI crude 49.73 -$0.16 -0.32% +0.87% $48.15 64


Euro/dlr $1.191 $0.000 -0.04% +0.24% USD/AUD 0.7993 -0.001 -0.15% +0.11%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sunil Nair)