CHICAGO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell nearly 4% on Wednesday and European wheat fell 3% as a bumper Australian harvest and signs of continued competition from Black Sea supplies added to technical pressure, traders and analysts said.
Corn followed wheat lower while soybean futures ended modestly higher after monthly industry data showed a smaller-than-expected U.S. soybean crush and surprise drawdown in soyoil stocks.
Chicago Board of Trade March wheat settled down 31 cents at $7.56 per bushel after dipping to $7.51, its lowest price since Oct. 21. Technical selling accelerated as the contract fell below its 100-day moving average around $7.62-1/2.
CBOT March corn ended down 4-1/2 cents at $5.85-3/4 a bushel while January soybeans finished up 3 cents at $12.62-1/2 a bushel.
Wheat futures have retreated since multi-year highs set last month as worries over the Omicron coronavirus variant and easing concerns about global wheat supply have encouraged selling.
"Wheat prices are losing ground mainly on technical considerations for the moment," consultancy Agritel said in a note.
Meanwhile, a drier spell in Australia tempered fears of rain damage to what is forecast to be a record harvest.
"There was talk the Australian wheat quality was not as bad as expected and looking forward, harvest weather looks good," said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.
A wheat tender on Tuesday by Algeria, in which the major importer is thought to have booked about 700,000 tonnes, pressured Paris futures . Traders said they expected French wheat to miss out for a second straight tender, while Argentine and Ukrainian supplies could claim some sales.
However, news that Russia might reduce a planned quota for wheat exports later this season, according to sources familiar with discussions, underlined uncertainty about supply.
CBOT soyoil futures rallied after the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said soyoil supplies among its U.S. members had slipped to 1.832 billion lbs by the end of November, from 1.835 billion a month earlier. The monthly decline was the first since June, surprising analysts who expected oil stocks to build.
NOPA reported the November soybean crush at 179.462 million bushels, down 2.5% from October and below an average of analyst expectations for 181.640 million bushels.
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