GRAINS-Soybeans mixed in quiet trade; corn, wheat slightly softer

* Soybeans unable to sustain Monday's gains

* Market on lookout for more Chinese import deals

* Corn, wheat tread water in thin trade

SINGAPORE, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures retreated from Monday's highs early Tuesday as the Asian session failed to drum up follow-on buying interest in the absence of fresh Chinese buying. Wheat and corn prices also drifted lower in thin trade, while soymeal and soyoil futures stayed largely flat. Soy traders remain on watch for additional Chinese import demand, but few signs of fresh buying have emerged beyond confirmation of firm U.S. export inspections overnight.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported soybean purchases of more than 1.5 million tonnes by China last week - the first in six months - but has not confirmed fresh deals since, dashing hopes of steady waves of Chinese interest. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was down less than 1 percent at around $9.04 a bushel, compared to Monday's high of $9.09-1/4. Wheat was down nearly 0.4 percent, but remained broadly supported by tightening global inventories stemming from production problems in key growing areas, including the European Union which has become a net grain importer for the first time in a decade. Corn was slightly lower in thin trade, extending the softer tone from Monday's session as traders reacted to a larger-than-expected net long position held by commodity funds in a weekly government report issued after the closing bell on Friday. Soymeal and soyoil futures held marginally firmer in thin trade.

Grains prices at 0321 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 532.50 -2.75 -0.01% +0.02% 513.30 65.81 CBOT corn 383.75 -0.25 -0.01% +0.02% 379.41 77.17 CBOT soy 904.25 -0.50 -0.01% -0.00% 893.43 50.09 CBOT rice 10.57 $0.15 -0.14% +6.04% $10.75 39.05 WTI crude 49.37 -$0.50 -1.00% +4.00% $54.02

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.135 $0.001 +0.02% +0.04% USD/AUD 0.718 -0.001 -0.02% -0.01%

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

(Reporting by Gavin Maguire; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)