* U.S. corn nearly flat after falling to near 7-week low
* Farmers seen boosting planting as U.S. weather improves
* Wheat unchanged, still on track for sharp fall this week
(Updates prices, adds details, adds PARIS to dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, May 16 (Reuters) - Chicago corn traded nearly flat on Friday, hovering near a seven-week low hit in the previous session as forecasts for improved weather in the U.S. grain belt boosted expectations that farmers will make rapid planting progress. Wheat was unchanged after touching its lowest in more than three weeks earlier in the day, down more than 8 percent in eight sessions on an outlook for ample world supplies and improved weather in the drought-hit U.S. Plains. "The outlook for corn prices is bearish because of improving U.S. weather, which is allowing farmers to carry out the field work for planting corn," said Kaname Gokon, general manager of research at brokerage Okato Shoji in Tokyo. The pace of corn planting has picked up in the U.S. Midwest following weeks of delays in key growing areas such as Iowa, traders said. July corn was up 0.05 percent at $4.84-1/2 a bushel by 1044 GMT. It hit $4.81-3/4 on Thursday, a fall of more than 6 percent in five sessions. July wheat traded unchanged at $6.78-1/4 a bushel and July soybeans were up 0.2 percent at $14.72-1/2 a bushel. The weather is also forecast to improve for the wheat crop in the U.S. Plains, where severe drought hit the hard red winter crop. Scattered showers are seen in the central U.S. Plains from Friday into the weekend with a better chance for rain forecast for the end of next week, Commodity Weather Group said. Old-crop corn export sales of 343,000 tonnes were in line with expectations, while old-crop soybean export sales of 73,600 tonnes topped the range of analysts' forecasts. The U.S. Agriculture Department's export sales report released on Thursday morning showed old-crop export sales of wheat were just 54,900 tonnes, below trade forecasts for 100,000 to 300,000 tonnes. Egypt is tendering on Friday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for June 20-30 shipment. In its last international wheat purchase on May 2, the country's General Authority for Supply Commodities bought 110,000 tonnes of Russian and Ukrainian wheat for June 1-10 shipment.
The U.S. National Oilseed Processors Association's monthly crush data showed the pace of crushing was roughly in line with expectations during April. Traders said a bigger-than-expected crush was needed to fuel buying at current levels. NOPA said processors crushed 132.667 million bushels of soybeans in April, the heaviest for the month in five years.
Prices at 1044 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move End 2013 Ytd Pct CBOT corn 484.50 0.25 +0.05 437.00 10.87 CBOT soy 1472.75 2.50 +0.17 1264.50 16.47 CBOT wheat 678.25 0.00 +0.00 616.75 9.97 Paris wheat 199.75 0.75 +0.38 190.50 4.86 Paris maize 178.50 0.50 +0.28 171.75 3.93 Paris rape 359.25 0.00 +0.00 366.50 -1.98 WTI crude oil 101.69 0.19 +0.19 91.82 10.75 Euro/dlr 1.37 -0.16 * CBOT futures prices are in cents per bushel, Paris futures in
euros per tonne, WTI crude oil in dollars per barrel.
(Editing by Tom Hogue and Dale Hudson)