(New throughout; updates prices, adds quotes, byline and dateline) CHICAGO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures firmed Wednesday on seasonal strength as the Midwest harvest wound down and a jump in soyoil tied to an unexpected monthly drawdown in domestic supplies, traders said. Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures fell nearly 2 percent, nearing contract lows, in a technical sell-off. Corn futures firmed after the most-active December contract dipped to $3.37 per bushel, its lowest in a year. As of 1 p.m. CST (1900 GMT), CBOT January soybeans were up 8-1/2 cents at $9.76-1/4 a bushel. December wheat was down 8 cents at $4.20 while December corn was up 1 cent at $3.38-1/2. Soybeans rose as the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said its members crushed 164.2 million bushels of U.S. soybeans in October, the fifth highest monthly total on record, in line with trade expectations. Seasonally, soybean futures tend to climb after the U.S. harvest ends and farmer selling slows down, said Brian Hoops of Midwest Market Solutions. "We are seeing a bounce, and some bargain-hunting, anticipating that. (And) NOPA came out in line with expectations, near record highs," Hoops said. CBOT soyoil futures surged after NOPA pegged soyoil stocks at the end of the month at 1.224 billion pounds, a decline from 1.302 billion at the end of September, bucking trade expectations for an increase. Also bullish for futures, a senior executive at COFCO Corp forecast that China, the biggest global soy buyer, will import 100 million tonnes of soybeans in 2017/18, topping official U.S. and Chinese estimates. Corn futures had underlying support from commodity funds holding a large net short position, leaving the market open to bouts of short-covering. The slide in CBOT wheat futures did not appear to be tied to any major fundamental factors, traders said.
CBOT prices as of 12:58 p.m. CST (1858 GMT):
Net Pct Volume
Last change change
CBOT wheat WZ7 419.75 -8.25 -1.9 61572 CBOT corn CZ7 338.50 1.00 0.3 187154 CBOT soybeans SF8 976.25 8.50 0.9 81642 CBOT soymeal SMZ7 311.80 1.50 0.5 38896 CBOT soyoil BOZ7 34.64 0.63 1.9 58591
NOTE: CBOT December wheat, December corn and January soybeans shown in cents per bushel, December soymeal in dollars per short ton and December soyoil in cents per lb.
(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)