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GRAINS-Chicago grains firm with exports in focus

(Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Mayank Bhardwaj PARIS/NEW DELHI, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat, corn and soybeans edged higher on Thursday, steadying after losses this week as participants monitored negotiations to maintain a wartime corridor for Ukrainian shipments while awaiting weekly U.S. export sales data. An easing in the dollar index and a rise in crude oil lent some support to grains. The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) were up 1.1% at $8.50-1/2 a bushel by 1201 GMT, holding above a four-week low struck on Tuesday. CBOT corn added 0.4% to $6.81 a bushel while soybeans rose 0.8% to $13.82-3/4 a bushel. Corn and soybeans fell to near two-week lows on Wednesday. Wheat markets have been pressured by hopes of progress towards extending Ukraine's United Nations-backed shipping corridor beyond November. However, comments by Russia's foreign ministry on Thursday accusing Washington of blocking food and fertiliser trade with Russia underscored tensions in the negotiations. "At the moment it is difficult to get a clear idea about the outcome of the negotiations as the Russia-Ukraine war has just intensified," said a Singapore-based trader. Chicago wheat, corn and soybean prices have also been curbed doubts over U.S. export prospects. Recent strength in the dollar, logistics delays caused by low water on the Mississippi river and competition from South American supplies have capped export demand. Traders are waiting for weekly U.S. export sales figures on Thursday for an update. An advancing U.S. corn and soybean harvest has created supply pressure, but persisting drought in some wheat belts was raising early concerns about next year's crop. Prices at 1201 GMT Last Chang Pct End Ytd Pct e Move 2021 Move CBOT wheat 850.25 9.00 1.07 770.75 10.31 CBOT corn 681.00 2.75 0.41 593.25 14.79 CBOT soy 1382.75 10.25 0.75 1339.25 3.25 Paris wheat 338.75 2.75 0.82 276.75 22.40 Paris maize 331.75 4.75 1.45 226.00 46.79 Paris rape 630.00 2.25 0.36 754.00 -16.45 WTI crude oil 87.42 1.87 2.19 75.21 16.23 Euro/dlr 0.98 0.00 0.43 1.1368 -13.68 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Mayank Bhardwaj in New Delhi; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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