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GRAINS-Corn regains some ground after steep fall; wheat weakens

* Corn firms after three days of losses, U.S. weather in focus

Chicago soybeans tick up but wheat prices weaken (Adds quote, updates prices)

By Nigel Hunt

LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose for the first time in four sessions on Thursday as bargain buying lifted prices, though gains were limited by expectations of favorable rain across the U.S. Midwest.

Soybean prices also rose, while wheat fell on already ample supplies boosted by a large harvest in western Europe.

Forecasts for some rain in key growing areas of the U.S. Midwest in the coming weeks is adding pressure on the corn market and bolstered the production view issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday.

The Chicago Board of Trade's most-active corn contract rose 0.6% to $3.72-1/2 a bushel by 0954 GMT.

Corn prices dropped to their lowest since mid-May on Wednesday, having lost more than 11% in the previous three sessions.

The USDA's surprise boost to its corn production forecast continues to hang over the market but analysts warned that the U.S. corn crop remains vulnerable.

"U.S. corn crops are still behind their usual development cycle, so the chance of weather-crop mismatch is greater," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"Too hot for some phases and, later, too cool for other phases can still have a material impact on yields."

CBOT's most active soybean contract was up 0.4 percent at $8.81-3/4 a bushel.

Analysts are expecting a USDA report later on Thursday to show weekly export sales of soybeans between 150,000 tonnes and 700,000 tonnes. A week ago soybean export sales totalled 419,914 tonnes.

CBOT's most active wheat contract fell 0.7 percent to $4.74-3/4 a bushel while December wheat on Paris-based Euronext was down 0.15 percent at 171.50 euros a tonne.

Dealers said the wheat harvest in western Europe was coming to an end with production well above last year.

Germany's 2019 wheat harvest will be 17.5% higher than last year at 23.81 million tonnes despite an early summer heatwave that stressed some crops, Germany's association of farm cooperatives said on Wednesday.

"The heatwave in late July appears to have damaged the wheat crop in Germany to a lesser extent than feared," Commerzbank said in a market note. (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and David Goodman )