GRAINS-Soy firm as farmer selling eases, rains slow U.S. harvest

(Recasts first sentence with soybean rise, updates prices, adds analyst comments, changes dateline from PARIS/SYDNEY) CHICAGO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose on Wednesday, reflecting a slowdown in the Midwest harvest as rains stalled fieldwork and weak cash values discouraged farmer selling, analysts said. Wheat futures fell on technical selling and a lack of supportive news. Corn was modestly lower. As of 1:05 p.m. CDT (1805 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans were up 2-3/4 cents at $9.58 per bushel. CBOT December wheat was down 4-3/4 cents at $4.43-1/4 a bushel and December corn was down 1/2 cent at $3.49 a bushel. Soybeans firmed a day after the November contract notched a near three-week low. "You've got a combination of increasing freight rates and (widening) basis levels scaring the farmer from making sales. Plus you've got some harvest delays," said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions. Rains crossed parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin in the last day, with light showers crossing areas of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Corn futures were lower but pared losses after the December contract dipped to a three-week low of $3.46. Traders noted chart support at the contract low of $3.44-1/4, set on Aug. 31. Corn was anchored by better-than-expected yield reports from the early harvest and fears that the U.S. Department of Agriculture might raise its U.S. corn yield forecast in its next monthly supply/demand report on Oct. 12. "Despite earlier concerns, the season has shaped up pretty well and the harvest is advancing at a steady rate," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. Commodity brokerage INTL FCStone this week raised its forecast of the U.S. corn yield to 169.2 bushels per acre, from 166.9 a month earlier. The firm also raised its U.S. soybean yield forecast, to 49.9 bpa from 49.8 previously. Wheat prices remained capped by export competition created latest Egyptian purchase of Russian wheat on Tuesday.

CBOT prices as of 1:05 p.m. CDT (1805 GMT):

Net Pct Volume

Last change change

CBOT wheat WZ7 443.25 -4.75 -1.1 48164 CBOT corn CZ7 349.25 -0.25 -0.1 142072 CBOT soybeans SX7 958.75 3.50 0.4 70348 CBOT soymeal SMZ7 311.20 -0.30 -0.1 34051 CBOT soyoil BOZ7 33.15 0.40 1.2 46163

NOTE: CBOT December wheat, December corn and November soybeans shown in cents per bushel, December soymeal in dollars per short ton and December soyoil in cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Edmund Blair and Matthew Lewis)