GRAINS-Corn set for 3rd week of gains on Chinese demand; soybeans, wheat firm

* Corn, soybeans firm on hopes of strong Chinese demand

* Chicago wheat futures gain for 4th consecutive session (Recasts with move in corn prices, adds quote in paragraph 3)

SINGAPORE, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures rose for a second consecutive session on Friday, while soybean prices gained on expectations of strong Chinese demand.

Wheat is on track for a fourth consecutive session of gains.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported a hefty three quarter million tonne sale destined for China... that sale is an important validation of higher prices,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) is up more than 5% for the week, gaining almost 12% over three weeks. The market was 0.1% higher at $3.58-3/4 a bushel as of 0237 GMT.

Soybeans are up more than 4% this week, the biggest one-week percentage jump since September and wheat has added more than 3% this week.

All three markets are poised for their third straight weekly gain.

Private exporters reported sales of 747,000 tonnes of corn to China and 140,000 tonnes of corn to unknown destinations, the USDA said on Thursday.

The agency said weekly export sales of wheat for shipment in the 2020/21 marketing year totalled 764,100 tonnes, topping forecasts that ranged from 400,000 tonnes to 700,000 tonnes.

The European Union cut its duty on maize (corn) imports to zero on Thursday to take account of a rise in U.S. maize prices following a reduced forecast for the 2020/21 U.S. maize harvest, the European Commission said.

The International Grains Council on Thursday raised its forecast for global corn production in the 2020/21 season reflecting an improved outlook for the U.S. crop.

In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body increased its global corn crop forecast by 2 million tonnes to a record 1.166 billion tonnes.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, corn, wheat, soyoil and soymeal futures contracts on Thursday, traders said.

Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel