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GRAINS-CBOT corn falls on big U.S. harvest, pressures wheat

Mark Weinraub
Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 | 12:01 PM ET

* Soybeans higher on export expectations

* Market awaits USDA export data, crop revisions

* Fed statement later on Thursday adds to cautious tone

(Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote, byline, dateline, pvs PARIS/SYDNEY)

CHICAGO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures sagged for the third time in four days on Wednesday, weighed down by the ongoing harvest of what is expected to be a record crop in the United States, traders said.

The weakness in corn, which was hovering near a three-year low, weighed on the wheat market.

"These yield numbers continue to run good," said Jason Britt, president of Central States Commodities. "It is kind of a foot on the market's neck for the time being."

Harvest progress was expected to slow across a broad swath of the U.S. Midwest during the next few days due to rain but a forecaster said drier weather by Friday will allow farmers to quickly resume their combining.

Soybean futures edged higher, supported by bargain buying after prices fell to a two-week low on Tuesday. Strong demand on the export market added to the strength in soy.

Traders said the market was on edge, and prices could swing in either direction, partly due to a dearth of official data following a recent government shutdown that has created uncertainty among operators.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is due to publish three weeks' worth of export sales on Thursday to bring its export reporting up to date, and will then issue on Nov. 8 a closely watched crop report that it cancelled this month.

Expectations for big soybean exports were allowed soy prices to buck the overall bearish tone hanging over the grains market, Central States' Britt said.

By 10:51 a.m. CDT (1551 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade corn for December delivery was down 1-3/4 cents at $4.30-1/4 a bushel and CBOT December wheat dropped 5 cents to $6.76-1/4 a bushel. CBOT November soybeans were up 4-3/4 cents at $12.83-3/4 a bushel.

Wheat futures faced additional pressure from India's decision to slash the minimum price for its supplies on the export market.

"We've got a market that is consolidating in light volumes," a European trader said. "We're waiting for the USDA reports and there is also the Fed today which could sway exchange rates."

The Federal Reserve will issue a policy statement at 1800 GMT, which investors expect to show it is unlikely to begin scaling back a stimulus programme until 2014.

Demand for wheat, which was still within striking distance of a 4-1/2-month high reached last week remained healthy.

"Yes, it is raining in Argentina but I don't think it will be sufficient to improve production so I think you will see some increased demand for U.S. wheat," said Vanessa Tan, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

India has cut the floor price for exports of wheat from government warehouses by 13 percent, a government source said on Wednesday, in a move to boost stalled shipments from the world's second-biggest producer of the grain.

That could hurt U.S. wheat's competitiveness on the world market, analysts said.

Prices at 10:49 a.m. CDT (1548 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD

CHG CHG CHG

CBOT corn 430.25 -1.75 -0.4% -38.4% CBOT soy 1283.75 4.75 0.4% -9.5% CBOT meal 410.50 -0.30 -0.1% -2.4% CBOT soyoil 41.66 0.69 1.7% -15.3% CBOT wheat 675.75 -5.50 -0.8% -13.1% CBOT rice 1540.00 -18.00 -1.2% 3.6% EU wheat 201.75 -0.25 -0.1% -19.4% US crude 97.36 -0.84 -0.9% 6.0% Dow Jones 15,658 -22 -0.1% 19.5% Gold 1353.19 9.50 0.7% -19.2% Euro/dollar 1.3763 0.0018 0.1% 4.3% Dollar Index 79.5410 -0.0660 -0.1% -0.3% Baltic Freight 1484 -67 -4.3% 112.3%

In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel, rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb.

(Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Marguerita Choy)