CANBERRA, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Thursday, building on two sessions of gains, as traders covered short positions ahead of a weekly export sales data, while soybeans and corn prices fell.
* The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.1% at $5.86-1/2 a bushel by 0132 GMT, after rising 4.4% in the previous two sessions.
* CBOT soybeans fell 0.2% to $13.44-1/2 a bushel and corn slipped 0.2% to $4.75 a bushel.
* Wheat futures rose partly due to short covering amid rumours of Chinese buying and ahead of month-end and first notice day for the spot December contract, according to traders and analysts.
* Deliveries against December soft red winter wheat futures could be moderate to heavy on Thursday, the first notice day, reflecting soft cash markets, weak demand and ample supplies.
* Wheat prices remain near September's three-year low of $5.40 a bushel, with the market pressured by cheap supply from Russia, the biggest exporter, which is expected to see a third consecutive large harvest next year.
* Heavy rain sweeping through southeastern Australia has damaged wheat crops, potentially shrinking production by more than 100,000 tons and turning up to 1 million tons of milling wheat into lower-quality feed grain, analysts said.
* Meanwhile, Morocco will offer subsidies to import up to 2.5 million metric tons of soft wheat between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2024 after drought hit local production, state grains agency ONICL said.
* The U.S. Department of Agriculture is due to release weekly export sales data early on Thursday. Analysts surveyed by Reuters expect old-crop wheat sales at 200,000 to 500,000 metric tons for the week ended Nov. 23, up from 171,753 tons a week earlier.
* In soybeans, traders were looking at the effect of arid conditions in key cropping areas in top producer Brazil.
* "Moisture stress is expected to expand to nearly 50% of Brazil's soybean belt in the days ahead, combined with above normal summer heat to add to crop stress," StoneX analyst Arlan Suderman wrote in a note.
* Analysts, however, say even if Brazil suffers significant crop losses its harvest will be larger than last year.
* U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said China took advantage of lower prices for corn in Brazil, leading to a nearly 20% drop in U.S. exports to China, but he expects the numbers to rise again over time.
* Commodity funds were net buyers of Chicago corn, soybeans and wheat contracts on Wednesday, traders said.
Treasury yields fell on Wednesday while the dollar gained and MSCI's global stock index barely rose as U.S. Federal Reserve officials provided mixed messages on monetary policy and third-quarter data provided encouraging signs for the economy.
(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)