(Updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote, changes byline, dateline, pvs PARIS/SINGAPORE)
By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures firmed slightly on Monday, on track for their seventh day of gains in a row, but the market was trading below a 4-1/2 month high hit during the overnight session as investors locked in profits, traders said.
Wheat and corn futures were down for the third day in a row, pressured by poor export prospects and ample supplies of the grains.
Soybeans, which hit their highest since July 19, pulled back sharply from the sharp gains posted during the overnight session as investors waited for more bullish fundamental news to drive further gains.
“It is just more profit-taking than anything else,” said Mark Schultz, chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. “It has been quite a push to the upside.”
At 10:33 a.m. CDT (1633 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures for January delivery were up 3 cents at $10.49 a bushel, 16 cents below their overnight top.
Strong overseas demand for U.S. soybeans offered support to futures. The U.S. Agriculture Department on Monday morning said that weekly export inspections of soybeans totalled 2.090 million tonnes, near the high end of trade expectations.
CBOT December corn was off 1-1/2 cents at $3.47-3/4 a bushel. CBOT December soft red winter wheat dropped 4-1/2 cents to $3.91-1/4 a bushel. The December wheat contract hit its lowest since Aug. 31.
USDA said that weekly export inspections of wheat came in at 221,985 tonnes, down from 434,001 tonnes in the previous week and below market forecasts that ranged from 325,000 to 525,000 tonnes.
Export inspections of corn also were a weaker-than-expected 800,967 tonnes. (Additional reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Andrea Ricci)