GRAINS-Wheat holds near 7-month high on low U.S. crop ratings

* U.S. wheat crop ratings low in major producing states

* Weather outlook shows little rain relief from drought

* Soybeans firm as Argentina drought stays in focus

(Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices rose for a fourth straight session on Tuesday to trade close to seven-month high, as low U.S. crop ratings and limited chances of rain in drought-hit parts of the U.S. Plains region kept attention on the risk of yield losses. Soybeans edged higher to hold close to Monday's one-year peak as drought in Argentina continued to threaten harvest prospects in the major exporting country. Corn also ticked higher. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade had climbed 0.6 percent to $4.75-3/4 a bushel by 1156 GMT. It earlier rose to $4.76-3/4, matching Monday's peak at the highest since Aug. 1, but failed to rally further. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday that 12 percent of the winter wheat crop in top growing state Kansas were in good-to-excellent condition, down from 14 percent at the end of January and below last year's 43 percent. The USDA rated 4 percent of the Oklahoma wheat crop as good-to-excellent, unchanged from the end of January but down from 43 percent a year earlier. "One important reason for the poor plant assessments is the drought that has over 70 percent of Kansas and the whole of Oklahoma in its grip," Commerzbank analysts said in a note. Monthly wheat ratings also declined in Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Colorado, where, as in Kansas and Oklahoma, farmers grow hard red winter wheat, the largest U.S. wheat class. "Crop ratings for the winter wheat crop are significantly lower and weather forecasts for the next 15 days are not encouraging," said an India-based agricultural commodities analyst. Severe cold in Europe this week was also keeping attention on weather risks, although snow cover was expected to limit the impact of deep frosts in top wheat exporter Russia. CBOT soybeans inched up 0.2 percent to $10.48-1/2 a bushel. They had closed down marginally on Monday in a slight pullback from a one-year high of $10.59-1/2 earlier in the day. Corn also edged higher, adding 0.1 percent to $3.77-3/4 a bushel. The soybean market remained focused on the scale of drought damage in Argentina, where officials fear crop losses could dampen economic growth in the major agricultural exporter. The main Pampas grain belt is expected to receive about 15 millimeters of rain in the coming days, short of the 100 mm needed to reverse some of the damage, meteorologist German Heinzenknecht of the Applied Climatology Consultancy said. However, the impact on global supply could be curbed by Brazil's harvest which some forecasters expect to set a record volume.

Prices at 1156 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2017 Move CBOT wheat 475.75 3.00 0.63 427.00 11.42 CBOT corn 377.75 0.50 0.13 350.75 7.70 CBOT soy 1048.50 2.50 0.24 961.75 9.02 Paris wheat Mar 164.50 0.50 0.30 159.00 3.46 Paris maize Mar 154.00 -0.50 -0.32 157.75 -2.38 Paris rape May 358.50 -0.25 -0.07 352.75 1.63 WTI crude oil 63.60 -0.31 -0.49 60.42 5.26 Euro/dlr 1.23 0.00 0.00

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

(Editing by Louise Ireland)