GRAINS-Wheat holds firm near 6-year high, soybeans up on U.S. harvest pace

* Dry weather in U.S., Russian winter wheat belts a concern * U.S. soy harvest pace slower than anticipated, corn ahead * Brisk U.S. exports, South America dryness underpin corn, soy (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat edged higher on Tuesday, holding near the previous session's six-year peak as concerns persisted over dry crop conditions in several major exporting countries. Soybeans rose after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pegged the U.S. harvest pace behind market expectations and as Malaysian palm oil climbed sharply. Corn was also firm, with strong U.S. exports and crop risks in South America and Ukraine offsetting supply pressure from a brisk U.S. harvest. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.8% at $6.32 a bushel by 1130 GMT, close to Monday's peak that marked its highest since December 2014. Some rain has reached parched U.S. and Russian wheat belts in recent days, but weather forecasts showed little further moisture for some zones during the rest of October as farmers try to complete sowing of winter wheat. "There could be more upside potential for wheat prices if we see more dryness in Russia and the U.S. winter wheat growing areas," said one Singapore-based trader. The USDA's weekly crop progress report, released after Monday's market close, estimated U.S. winter wheat planting was 77% complete by Sunday, above the five-year average but below an average analyst estimate of 81%. Drought in part of Argentina has also reduced prospects for the upcoming wheat harvest. A steady run of tenders by importing countries has supported the rally in wheat as well. Algeria is to hold its second tender in two weeks on Wednesday. CBOT soybeans were up 0.7% at $10.61-3/4 a bushel, while corn ticked up 0.3% to $4.06-1/4 a bushel. The U.S. soybean crop was 75% harvested, the USDA said, ahead of the five-year average but behind an average analyst estimate of 79%. The U.S. corn harvest was 60% complete, ahead of both the five-year mean and the average analyst expectation. Prices at 1130 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 632.00 5.00 0.80 558.75 13.11 CBOT corn 406.25 1.00 0.25 387.75 4.77 CBOT soy 1061.75 7.50 0.71 955.50 11.12 Paris wheat December 211.50 -0.25 -0.12 188.75 12.05 Paris maize Nov 189.25 1.00 0.53 174.75 8.30 Paris rape Nov 389.75 1.00 0.26 391.50 -0.45 WTI crude oil 40.98 0.15 0.37 61.06 -32.89 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 0.37 1.1210 5.35 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Aditya Soni and Mark Potter)

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