GRAINS-Soybeans steady on demand boost, wheat set for 4th weekly drop

* Soybeans supported by export demand, Brazil risks

* Weekly U.S. exports also lent support to wheat, corn

* Prices still curbed by U.S. harvest, big world supply

(Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Chicago soybeans inched higher on Friday as signs of healthy export demand and lingering concern about Brazil's planting season kept a floor under the market. However, the oilseed was still on course for a weekly loss, with an expected pick-up in U.S. harvesting during dry weather this week curbing prices. Chicago wheat similarly crept higher with support from improved export figures that suggested a recent price fall had made U.S. wheat more competitive overseas. But the cereal was set for a fourth straight weekly decline against a backdrop of ample global supplies. Corn ticked lower to stay headed for a weekly fall as an advancing U.S. harvest was expected to show strong yields. The most-active soybean contracton the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.3 percent at $9.89-1/4 a bushel by 1119 GMT. Over the week it was down 1.1 percent, after failing to hold above the psychological $10 level. "Demand has been strong for soybeans and some strength has also been from the supply-side story due to dryness in Brazil resulting in planting delays," said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. "But U.S. yields are still looking good and we don't see a big rally at this stage unless fundamentals change." The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Thursday that private exporters sold 384,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the world's biggest soy buyer. Weekly U.S. soybean export sales, at 1.275 million tonnes, fell below trade estimates, but weekly soymeal and soyoil sales exceeded expectations. CBOT wheat was up 0.2 percent at $4.33-3/4 but down 1.3 percent so far this week. Corn was 0.1 percent lower on the day at $3.48-3/4 and down 1.1 percent so far this week. The USDA said U.S. wheat export sales were more than 615,000 tonnes, the biggest weekly tally in two months. But the wheat market faces the prospect of record global inventories this season, supported by a record Russian crop. Consultancy SovEcon Thursday upgraded its forecast for Russia's 2017/18 wheat exports to 33.9 million tonnes from 32.4 million previously. Improving conditions for wheat sowing and early crop growth in the United States and across Europe were also keeping attention focused on a comfortable supply situation. Harvesting in the U.S. was keeping a lid on corn prices, although traders were waiting to see how much progress farmers will have made before the return of rain expected this weekend. In Argentina, farmers are expected to expand corn planting free-market policies of President Mauricio Macri have encouraged crop rotation after decades of over-planting soybeans.

Prices at 1119 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2016 Move CBOT wheat 433.75 1.00 0.23 408.00 6.31 CBOT corn 348.75 -0.25 -0.07 352.00 -0.92 CBOT soy 989.25 2.75 0.28 1004.00 -1.47 Paris wheat Dec 161.50 0.00 0.00 175.00 -7.71 Paris maize Nov 144.50 -1.75 -1.20 170.00 -15.00 Paris rape Nov 366.25 -0.25 -0.07 383.25 -4.44 WTI crude oil 50.84 -0.45 -0.88 53.72 -5.36 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 -0.36

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/Mark Heinrich)