(New throughout; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON) CHICAGO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean futures closed fractionally lower Tuesday on technical selling, bucking strength in other commodity markets, including crude oil. Wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade also fell, with the spot December contract hitting a four-week low as traders positioned for monthly U.S. government reports due Thursday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is scheduled to release its October supply/demand reports, including updated estimates of U.S. and global crop production. CBOT November soybeans ended down 3/4 cent at $9.66 a bushel. December corn ended down 1/4 cent at $3.49-1/4 a bushel and December wheat finished down 3/4 cent at $4.35-1/4 after dipping to $4.34, its lowest since Sept. 12. All three commodities closed lower after trading higher during the session. Soybeans got a boost after Brazilian statistics agency Conab forecast the country's 2017-18 soybean crop at between 106 million and 108.2 million tonnes, down from the 2016-17 crop of 114 million tonnes. After the Conab news, CBOT November soybeans hit a session high of $9.75-3/4, near the contract's 200-day moving average, but encountered technical resistance at that level. "Profit-taking at the 200-day moving average for the lead November contract became a factor ahead of Thursdays USDA crop report," INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman wrote in a note to clients. Corn and wheat followed soybeans back down. The USDA reported export inspections of U.S. soybeans in the latest week at more than 1.4 million tonnes, topping a range of trade estimates. But inspections of corn and wheat fell below expectations, reflecting sluggish export demand for both grains.
Underscoring strong wheat export competition suppliers in the Black Sea region, Egypt's state buyer said it bought 170,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in an international purchasing tender. No U.S. wheat was offered. After the CBOT close, the USDA said the U.S. soybean harvest was 36 percent complete, behind the five-year average of 43 percent and an average of trade expectations for 38 percent.
The corn harvest was 22 percent complete, compared with the five-year average of 37 percent and the average trade estimate of 27 percent. In Iowa, the top U.S. corn producer, the corn harvest was 8 percent done, lagging the state's five-year average of 28 percent. "Unfortunately, very little harvest progress was made due to the wet weather last week," Mike Naig, Iowa's deputy agriculture secretary, said in a statement.
CBOT settlement prices:
Last Net Pct Volume
CBOT wheat WZ7 435.25 -0.75 -0.2 51921 CBOT corn CZ7 349.25 -0.25 -0.1 99239 CBOT soybeans SX7 966.00 -0.75 -0.1 116857 CBOT soymeal SMZ7 316.20 0.70 0.2 43961 CBOT soyoil BOZ7 33.11 -0.15 -0.4 43831
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 Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Mark Potter and James Dalgleish)