GRAINS-Corn dips 1 pct on poor exports, soy off one-month top
* Poor export sales drag corn down 1 percent, wheat follows
* Soybeans retreat from 1-month peak as corn sinks
* Stronger dollar, weaker crude oil anchor grains
(Rewrites throughout, updates prices, adds byline, changes dateline, pvs PARIS/SYDNEY) CHICAGO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures fell 1 percent on Thursday on concerns about sluggish demand after a weekly report showed that export sales were well below expectations last week. The sinking corn market dragged wheat prices lower and pulled soybeans back from an earlier one-month high despite the strongest export sales in nine weeks. A nearly $2-a-barrel drop in crude oil and a stronger U.S. dollar, which increases costs for buyers holding other currencies, further anchored grain markets. "Demand is falling faster than supply in the corn and the wheat. The weekly export sales took the wind out of the sails and caused yesterday's technical rally in the beans and commodities in general to stall out today," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported net export sales of corn last week at 47,400 tonnes for the current and next marketing years, well below trade forecasts for 350,000 to 550,000 tonnes and the lowest figure in eight weeks. Export sales of all classes of U.S. wheat were near the low end of the range of trade expectations at 353,100 tonnes. Chicago Board of Trade March corn fell 7-1/4 cents, or 1 percent, to $7.50-1/2 per bushel by 11:50 p.m. CST (1750 GMT) while March wheat shed 4-3/4 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $8.55-1/4 a bushel. CBOT January soybeans rose 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $14.83-1/4 per bushel after earlier peaking at $14.91-1/2 a bushel, the highest since Nov. 9. Robust export demand kept a firm floor under nearby soybean futures, but declining concerns about South American production weighed on back months as Brazil's government reaffirmed its forecast for a record-large crop. "The trade feels the South American weather is not hurting the crop at all, giving them the freedom to sell the back end, but the export sales were so strong they are not inclined or willing to sell the old-crop," Zuzolo said. USDA said U.S. soybean export sales last week topped 1.1 million tonnes, the most in nine weeks. Traders said market talk suggested China, the world's largest consumer of the oilseed, had acquired up to six cargoes of U.S. soybeans this week from sellers in the Pacific Northwest, and that it would soon seek more volumes.
Prices at 11:51 a.m. CST (1751 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 746.50 -6.75 -0.9% 15.5% CBOT soy 1482.25 3.00 0.2% 23.7% CBOT meal 456.70 3.50 0.8% 47.6% CBOT soyoil 50.26 -0.40 -0.8% -3.5% CBOT wheat 839.00 -3.25 -0.4% 28.5% CBOT rice 1543.50 -12.00 -0.8% 5.7% EU wheat 267.50 -1.25 -0.5% 32.1%US crude 85.85 -2.03 -2.3% -13.1% Dow Jones 13,027 -8 -0.1% 6.6% Gold 1699.30 5.89 0.3% 8.7% Euro/dollar 1.2956 -0.0110 -0.8% 0.1% Dollar Index 80.2890 0.5150 0.7% 0.1% Baltic Freight 990 -32 -3.1% -43.0%
(Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney, Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; editing by Jim Marshall)