GRAINS-Soybeans pause after eight-day slide on China virus fears

Gus Trompiz and Colin Packham

* Soybeans remain under pressure as coronavirus fears mount

* Corn steady on export demand, set for weekly loss

* Wheat extends pullback from last week's 1-1/2 year top (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline)

PARIS/SYDNEY, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Chicago soybeans edged up on Friday, consolidating after an eight-session slide on concerns that a new coronavirus in China could crimp demand for U.S. supplies.

Corn edged higher but remained on course to finish the week lower, while wheat eased to extend a pullback from last week's 1-1/2 year high.

The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.1% at $8.77-1/4 a bushel by 1100 GMT.

It was holding close to Thursday's low of $8.75-1/2, its weakest level since Dec. 4.

"The prospect of China's logistics being halted or shuttered for periods ripples through the oilseed supply chain," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it was declaring the coronavirus outbreak that has killed 213 people in China a global emergency, as cases spread to at least 18 countries.

Official data showed some recent Chinese demand for U.S. crop.

China's imports of U.S. soybeans surged in December from a year earlier, data showed on Friday, as China ramped up purchases ahead of the signing of a first-stage trade agreement this month.

Export data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday showed 360,900 tonnes in weekly sales to China, the world's top soybean importer, although 210,000 tonnes were sales previously reported to unknown destinations.

However, there was still skepticism China can meet commitments in the trade deal with Washington calling for a sharp rise in imports of U.S. farm goods.

"This is still a long way off the quantities (of U.S. soybeans) that were usually imported prior to the trade conflict," Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

CBOT wheat futures inched down 0.3% to $5.58-3/4 a bushel, while corn ticked up 0.3% to $3.80-3/4 a bushel.

The corn market remained underpinned by healthy overseas demand.

The USDA reported weekly export sales of old-crop U.S. corn were 1,234,700 tonnes and new-crop sales were 143,600 tonnes, both above trade estimates.

A wheat import tender held by Egypt on Thursday, however, again failed to attracted offers of U.S. wheat.

Egyptian buying agency GASC booked 180,000 tonnes of French crop, overlooking a large number of offers of Black Sea origins.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Elaine Hardcastle)