GRAINS-Soy slips on rain relief, China's stocks sale
* Soybeans edge down to add to 2.5 pct fall on Wednesday
* Hit by forecast U.S. rain, signs China import surge easing
* Corn and wheat edge down, pressured by soybeans
(Recasts with soybean fall in European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SYDNEY, Sept 5 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures fell on Thursday, adding to a steep fall the previous session, as forecast rain eased fears about U.S. crops and a sale of Chinese state reserves cooled expectations for demand from the biggest soybean importer. Soybeans put pressure on corn, which fell for a third straight session, and wheat, which was down for a seventh consecutive session. Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans edged down 0.7 percent to $13.43 a bushel by 1211 GMT. Front-month September was down 0.6 percent at $13.87-1/2. It rose slightly in Asian trading hours after Thursday's sharp drop drew some buyers in, but news that China had sold most of the soybeans on offer at an auction of state reserves helped curb that rebound. China sold 417,448 tonnes of soybeans from state reserves on Thursday, 82.95 percent of the total it offered, the National Grain and Oil Trade Center said. Industry officials, meanwhile, said that Chinese soybean imports are likely to fall in September-October as China grapples with an oversupply following record purchases in recent months and the state reserves sale. Analysts said a recent weather rally in U.S. soy prices would also encourage China to slow its pace of imports. "Soybean prices at close to $14 a bushel do change the demand outlook as higher prices will not only encourage destocking and deferral of demand, but the greater production of alternate oilseeds should encourage some substitution," Macquarie analysts said in a note. "(The Chinese) are the most likely candidates to destock a couple of million (tonnes) through the first half of the season." Soybeans were also under pressure from forecasts for some rain in dry growing areas of the U.S. Midwest and from a U.S. government report on Tuesday that showed crop damage was no worse than expected. Prices moves may be erratic as weather forecasts evolve and in the run-up to a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Sept. 12, which will include a revised soybean forecast. "We've got a soybean market that is going to remain pretty nervous. We'll have to see if the rain does any good," one European trader said. "It's also technical trading, with the USDA report next week and the market struggling to move above the $14 mark." A Reuters poll of 20 analysts pegged U.S. soybean yield estimates at 41.095 bushels per acre, below the USDA's August outlook for 42.6 bushels. Wetter weather is forecast for the weekend and next week in portions of the U.S. Midwest, but even more rain still is needed to prevent yield reductions for corn and soybeans, an agricultural meteorologist said on Thursday. In cereals, CBOT December corn fell 0.5 percent to $4.67 a bushel, while December wheat fell 0.3 percent to $6.44-1/4. In addition to the pullback in soy, corn has faced pressure from weak cash markets, and wheat has been hit by a rapidly advancing U.S. harvest and uncompetitive export prices. U.S. wheat was not offered in the latest tender by Egypt on Wednesday, and the world's top wheat importer chose cheaper Black Sea origins.
* Prices as of 1211 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move CBOT wheat 644.25 -2.00 -0.31 CBOT corn 467.00 -2.50 -0.53 CBOT soy 1343.00 -9.50 -0.70 Paris wheat 187.75 0.00 +0.00 Paris maize 172.00 0.00 +0.00 Paris rape 380.25 -3.75 -0.98 WTI crude oil 107.84 0.61 +0.57 Euro/dlr 1.32 -0.04 * CBOT futures prices are in cents per bushel, Paris futures
in euros per tonne, WTI crude oil in dollars per barrel.
(Editing by Richard Pullin and Jane Baird)