GRAINS-Corn set for biggest weekly gain since early July on U.S. storm damage
* Chicago corn futures up 5.2% this week after 5 weeks of losses
* Soybeans underpinned by strong demand from top buyer China (Adds details on EU wheat crop, fund positioning, quote in paragraphs 3-4)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures slid on Friday after four straight sessions of gains, but were poised for their biggest weekly rise in more than a month on concerns over storm damage in parts of the U.S. grain-belt.
Soybeans were on track for a positive finish this week with Chinese demand underpinning prices.
"Corn seems to have had a bit of support from storm damage this week but that is likely to be limited, given the dismal demand," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.
"And from the experience the initial fears of damage around weather events tend to be well exaggerated compared to the reality."
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) has risen 5.2% so far this week, set for its first gain in six weeks. Corn was down 0.4% to 3.37-1/2 by 0302 GMT, after jumping 3% on Thursday.
Soybeans have gained 3.4% this week, poised for the first gain in three weeks, and wheat was almost flat for the week.
Corn prices surged recently after a storm potentially affected 10 million acres of farmland in Iowa, the top U.S. corn growing state, according to state authorities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Wednesday U.S. farmers would reap a record corn harvest and a second-biggest soybean crop, buoyed by favourable weather.
The USDA on Thursday said Chinese buyers booked deals to buy 197,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans, the seventh weekday in a row that the government has reported a sale to the world's top buyer of the oilseed.
In a separate report, the agency said weekly export sales of soybeans through Aug. 6 totalled 2.13 million tonnes, the most since November 2016.
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday again cut its forecast for this year's soft wheat harvest in the European Union and Britain, as poor crops in France and southeast Europe offset increased estimates for Poland and the Baltic countries.
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean, soymeal and wheat futures contracts on Thursday, and net sellers of soyoil, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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