GRAINS-Soybeans rise from near 2-week low, rapid U.S. harvest limits gains

* Rapidly advancing U.S. harvest keeps lid on soybean futures

* Corn, wheat take a breather after 2 days of gains

(Adds details, comment) Oct 25 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures edged higher on Wednesday on bargain buying after dropping to their lowest in almost two weeks, but gains were limited by the rapidly advancing U.S. harvest giving a boost to world supplies. Corn and wheat were little changed, holding on to gains made in the previous two sessions. The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract was up 0.2 percent at $9.77-3/4 a bushel by 0244 GMT. The market closed down 0.5 percent on Tuesday after marking its lowest since Oct. 12 at $9.72-3/4 a bushel. Corn eased 0.1 percent to $3.52-1/2 a bushel after gaining 2.4 percent in the last two sessions, and wheat was down 0.1 percent at $4.37-3/4 a bushel having added 2.8 percent in the past two days. "The focus is turning to demand as U.S. soybean harvest is nearing completion," said one India-based agricultural commodities analyst. "Chinese demand has been strong but U.S. exports are lagging. In Brazil we are seeing some improved weather despite the forecast of dryness due to La Nina weather pattern." China's bean imports have a hit record high with 93.5 million tonnes arriving in the 2016/17 crop year that ended in September, up 12 percent on the prior year. Brazilian farmers have planted 20 percent of the expected soy area so far in the 2017-18 crop, consultancy AgRural said, with some producers expressing concern regarding the progress of work due to a lack of rains in key producing regions.

Meanwhile the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its weekly crop progress report that the U.S. soybean harvest was 70 percent complete, ahead of analyst forecasts of 64 percent. That leaves farmers only 3 percentage points behind their five-year average. The USDA assessed 66 percent of the U.S. corn crop as being in good-to-excellent condition, which compared with analyst forecasts of 65 percent. The USDA said 75 percent of U.S. winter wheat was planted, ahead of analyst forecasts of 73 percent. In Australia, wheat prices are likely to decline as the harvest gathers pace in the world's fourth-largest exporter. Australia's wheat farmers face a double whammy this year as dry weather slashes local production at a time when bloated global inventories are dragging on international prices for the grain. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and wheat contracts on Tuesday. They were net sellers of soybeans, soymeal and soyoil.

Grains prices at 0244 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 437.75 -0.25 -0.06% -4.21% 465.28 52 CBOT corn 352.50 -0.25 -0.07% +0.36% 350.82 56 CBOT soy 977.75 2.25 +0.23% +8.10% 898.45 47 CBOT rice 11.62 $0.01 +0.09% +17.92% $10.31 26 WTI crude 52.45 -$0.02 -0.04% +1.06% $51.02 66


Euro/dlr $1.176 $0.036 +3.18% +3.39% USD/AUD 0.7730 0.018 +2.38% +3.05%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)