GRAINS-Wheat steadies after three-day drop, export news awaited

* Corn and soybeans edge higher

* Market awaits USDA export sales, Egypt wheat tender

* U.S. harvest progress and Black Sea competition cap prices

(Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat ticked higher on Thursday, steadying after a three-day decline, with traders awaiting export news for a fresh indication of competition in a well-supplied market. Corn and soybeans firmed after closing lower in the previous session, though harvest progress in the United States continued to cap prices. The Chicago Board of Trade's most-active wheat contract gained 0.3 percent to $4.31-1/4 a bushel by 1221 GMT, having closed down 1 percent on Wednesday when prices hit a low of $4.29, the weakest since Oct. 12. Corn rose 0.3 percent to $3.49-1/2 a bushel, while soybeans added 0.1 percent to $9.84-3/4. U.S. wheat has struggled to attract international demand amid abundant supplies from Russia and Ukraine, though news this week that U.S. wheat was the cheapest origin offered in an ongoing tender by Iraq suggested that it may have regained competitiveness. "Prices are now back near recent, and season, lows," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, referring to U.S. wheat prices. "Buyers have emerged at these levels several times since late August." Investors will be watching weekly U.S. export sales figures later on Thursday for a new indication of export demand. The wheat market is also awaiting the outcome of a tender on Thursday by Egypt, the world's biggest importer of the cereal, to gauge international competition. In China's soymeal market, investors have piled on bullish options trades this month, betting on higher prices as farmers in one of the world's largest livestock sectors fatten their herds ahead of peak demand season in the new year. But the country's stocks of soybean oil are at record levels after huge imports of beans this year, keeping a lid on prices. China buys more than 60 percent of soybeans traded worldwide. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat and soyoil futures contracts on Wednesday and net buyers of soymeal, traders said.

Prices at 1221 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2016 Move CBOT wheat 431.25 1.25 0.29 408.00 5.70 CBOT corn 349.50 1.00 0.29 352.00 -0.71 CBOT soy 984.75 0.50 0.05 1004.00 -1.92 Paris wheat Dec 161.75 0.25 0.15 175.00 -7.57 Paris maize Nov 146.75 -0.75 -0.51 170.00 -13.68 Paris rape Nov 365.50 -0.25 -0.07 383.25 -4.63 WTI crude oil 51.18 -0.86 -1.65 53.72 -4.73 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 0.39

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and David Goodman)