CANBERRA, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures fell on Friday but were still on track to end the week around 3.1% after larger than expected U.S. export sales added impetus to a short-covering rally.

Soybeans and corn also dipped and were little changed over the week.


* The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.5% at $5.95-1/4 a bushel by 0131 GMT but set for its biggest weekly gain since early October.

* CBOT soybeans fell 0.4% to $13.37-1/4 a bushel but were up 0.5% this week. Corn slipped 0.1% to $4.82-1/4 a bushel and was roughly unchanged from last Friday's close.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported export sales of U.S. 2023/24 wheat in the week ended Nov. 23 at 622,800 metric tons, a six-week high that topped trade expectations for 200,000-500,000 tons.

* China bought a net 197,310 metric tons of U.S. wheat in the week to Nov. 23, also a six-week high, the USDA said.

* Speculators had built a large short position in CBOT wheat as plentiful supply of cheap Russian grain held prices around three-year lows.

* Short selling pushes prices down. Abandoning those bets has the opposite effect. Commodity funds were net buyers of wheat futures on Thursday, traders said.

* Russia expects another bumper harvest next year. Consultants IKAR lifted their forecast for the 2024/25 grain crop to 145 million metric tons, of which 92 million tons would be wheat, but said less would be exported than it previously thought.

* Meanwhile, Argentina's 2023/24 wheat harvest could be larger than currently thought, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said, as a late frost may have done less damage than expected.

* Analysts expect the global wheat market to be in deficit this year and next, which should support prices.

* Moving to soybeans, consultancy Patria Agronegocios said Brazil would produce 150.67 million tons in the 2023/24 cycle, below last season's 154.10 million, due to drought in key producing states.

* The projection is the first seen by Reuters that predicts a year-on-year decline in soy production in Brazil, the world's biggest soybean exporter. Earlier in the season, harvest forecasts had hovered around 164 million tons.

* Argentina's 2023/24 soybean production could however be bigger than recent harvests thanks to abundant rains expected in coming months, a meteorologist said. Argentina's soy production this season is estimated at around 50 million tons.

* In the United States, the soybean crush likely jumped to a record 6.033 million short tons in October, a poll of analysts showed ahead of a monthly USDA report.

* The amount of soybean oil used to produce biofuels in the United States rose to 1,207 million lbs in September.

* The USDA also reported U.S. soybean export sales of last week at 1,895,300 metric tons, above expectations, and private sales of 134,000 metric tons for delivery to China.

* In corn markets, Patria predicted a massive drop in Brazil's output of second corn, which is planted after soybeans are harvested in the same areas and represents around 75% of total national corn output.

* Patria pegged Brazil's second corn crop at 82.45 million tons in 2023/24, down around 18 million tons from last season.

* U.S. export sales of U.S. corn in the week ended Nov. 23 at 1,927,800 metric tons also exceeded expectations.


MSCI'S global stock index rose on Thursday while the Dow closed at its highest level since mid-January 2022 and bond yields and the dollar gained after Federal Reserve officials sounded caution about interest rate cuts.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Rashmi Aich)