GRAINS-Corn drops on profit taking; wheat, soybeans firm

Mark Weinraub

(Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote, changes byline/dateline; pvs PARIS/SYDNEY)

CHICAGO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures slipped on Friday while soybeans and wheat edged higher in muted trading as investors waited for the U.S. government's monthly update to harvest projections.

Corn futures remained under pressure from profit-taking after prices jumped to a seven-week high on Tuesday.

The market shrugged off long-awaited news that the Trump administration would boost U.S. biofuels consumption starting next year. The new rules, which still must be finalized, "ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nations fuel supply beginning in 2020," according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"In general, it is nothing that is a quick fix of any sort," said Mark Schultz, chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. "The corn market needs demand quickly not somewhere down the road. We just do not have any demand to speak of."

At 11:02 a.m. CDT (1602 GMT), CBOT December corn futures were down 2 cents at $3.86-3/4 a bushel.

CBOT November soybean futures were up 4 cents at $9.15-3/4 a bushel but remained below the 10-week top hit on Tuesday.

CBOT December wheat was 2-3/4 cents higher at $4.91-1/2 a bushel.

Corn rallied early in the week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) lower than anticipated estimate for U.S. inventories, which could herald tighter supplies if the Midwest harvest brings mixed yields.

"Next Thursday's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report, in which the USDA may update their U.S. corn yield forecast, looms large," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Yields in this year's corn and soybean harvests are seen as hard to call after exceptionally late planting during a rain-plagued spring.

Private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, on Friday lowered its forecast of the average U.S. 2019 corn yield to 167.5 bushels per acre, from 169.6 a month ago, according to an IEG client note seen by Reuters.

IEG forecast the average U.S. 2019 soybean yield at 46.5 bushels per acre, down from 48.4 last month. The firm put soybean production at 3.513 billion bushels, down from 3.671 billion bushels previously. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Uttaresh.V, Mark Potter and David Gregorio)