GRAINS-Corn firms on pace of U.S. harvest, Egypt tender supports wheat

* Markets await USDA global supply-demand estimates

U.S. corn harvest slower than expected

* Slack demand for U.S. corn and soybeans

* Wheat supported by Egyptian tender (Recasts on European trade, adds quotes, changes dateline)

By Michael Hogan

HAMBURG, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Chicago corn prices rose on Tuesday as dealers weighed the impact of slower than expected U.S. harvesting against slack U.S. corn exports.

Wheat firmed as Egypt issued an international purchase tender while soybean prices were hit by positioning ahead of the monthly world supply and demand estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday.

The Chicago Board of Trade's most-active corn contract was up 0.3% at $3.84-1/2 a bushel by 1215 GMT. Soybeans fell 0.03% to $9.37-3/4 a bushel and wheat gained 0.6% to $5.13-1/4 a bushel.

The grain and soybean markets are drifting somewhat today as dealers position ahead of the USDA world supply and demand reports, said INTL FCStone commodity risk manager Matt Ammermann.

The U.S. corn harvest is progressing slightly slower than expected but not slow enough to cause major concern. Both corn and soybean harvest work should benefit from relatively dry weather forecast for this week.

Ammermann added that markets are waiting to see if the USDA changes its U.S. corn yield forecast, noting that markets do not seem greatly concerned about yields because of the slow pace of U.S. corn and soybean exports.

U.S. soybean and corn exports are simply not running at a high enough rate to clear out inventories, he said.

A Singapore trader said that U.S. corn is not competitive, especially in the Asian market.

"The market will take further direction from USDA's supply-demand reports due later this week as there could be some quality issues with the late-planted crop," the trader added. The USDA on Monday said that 52% of the U.S. corn crop was harvested, behind market forecasts of 54%.

U.S. soybeans matched estimates with 75% harvested.

The USDA said that 89% of the U.S. winter wheat crop has been planted, behind market expectations of 91%.

Soybean dealers were also watching for progress in U.S.-China trade talks, in which China is pushing for the removal of more U.S. tariffs.

Another focus for dealers is South American soybean planting progress, with heavy volumes yet to be planted.

Traders were awaiting the result later of Tuesday of a new international tender from Egypt's state grains buyer for signs that Russian wheat could be losing its export dominance. French wheat was offered lowest in the tender.

Wheat is being supported by a new purchase tender for Egypt," Ammermann said.

"If Russian wheat is again shown to be too expensive for Egypt, this will be positive news for rival exporters." (Reporting by Michael Hogan Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by David Goodman)