(Recasts throughout with updated prices, quotes; changes byline, changes dateline, previous LONDON) CHICAGO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures fell to a one-week low on Friday and were on pace for a second straight weekly decline, pressured by fresh cancellations of U.S. soybean sales, traders said. Corn futures fell for a fourth straight session and were also on track for a weekly drop, while wheat futures firmed after a three-session slide. As of 12:40 p.m. CDT (1740 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures were down 4-1/2 cents at $8.59 per bushel. CBOT December corn was down 3 cents at $3.67-3/4 a bushel. December wheat was up 2-3/4 cents at $5.15-3/4 a bushel. Soybeans turned lower, retreating from early gains, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters cancelled sales of 180,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the world's biggest buyer. The USDA said exporters also cancelled another 120,000 tonnes of optional-origin soybeans sold to unknown destinations.
The soybean market has been roiled by the Sino-U.S. trade conflict, with Chinese buyers steering clear of beans from the United States, instead increasing purchases from Brazil and reducing their use of the bean in animal feed.
"We really are struggling with exports, and to have cancellations on top of an already slow export pace, evidenced negative blow for the bulls," said Brian Hoops, analyst with Midwest Market Solutions. The USDA's weekly U.S. export sales figures for both soybeans and corn, released Thursday, fell well below trade expectations. Corn futures fell following a pick-up in U.S. harvest activity and farmer selling this week. However, some unexpected rains stalled fieldwork in the northwestern Midwest, Hoops said. "Some rain showed up overnight in parts of Iowa and Minnesota. This is on top of very wet conditions," Hoops said. "We are behind the normal pace of harvest, and next Monday we are going to be way behind." Iowa's soybean harvest was only 19 percent complete by Oct. 14, the slowest for this time of year in USDA records dating to 1981. CBOT wheat futures were modestly higher in a technical bounce after the December contract notched a one-week low at $5.10-3/4 a bushel. However, for the week, the contract was on pace to fall about 0.4 percent. CBOT November soybeans were on track for a weekly decline of about 1 percent and CBOT December corn was on pace to fall 1.5 percent.
CBOT prices as of 12:39 p.m. CDT (1739 GMT):
Last Net Pct Volume
CBOT wheat WZ8 515.75 2.75 0.5 36259 CBOT corn CZ8 367.75 -3.00 -0.8 123840 CBOT soybeans SX8 859.25 -4.25 -0.5 81986 CBOT soymeal SMZ8 313.70 -2.60 -0.8 39751 CBOT soyoil BOZ8 29.31 0.29 1.0 34374
NOTE: CBOT December wheat and 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 David Evans and Tom Brown)