* Soybeans near last session’s 3-week top as China buys U.S. beans
* Wheat gains after 2 sessions of losses on improved crop weather (Adds details on fund positioning, quote in paragraph 3)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, June 3 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session on Wednesday with prices near last session’s three-week high, underpinned by strong demand from the world’s top importer China.
Corn slid, while wheat rose for the first time in three sessions although gains were limited by improved weather in key Northern Hemisphere exporting countries.
“There has been talk that China will stop buying U.S. beans but U.S. cargoes are cheaper than Brazilian, so it is an opportunity which no buyer will miss,” said one Singapore-based trader at an international trading company.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade added 0.2% to $8.52 a bushel by 0322 GMT, after climbing to a three-week high at $8.56 a bushel on Tuesday.
Wheat rose 0.2% to $5.09 a bushel, while corn lost 0.5% to $3.22-3/4 a bushel.
State-owned Chinese firms bought at least three cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Monday, even as sources in China said the government had told them to halt purchases after Washington said it would eliminate special treatment for Hong Kong to punish Beijing.
The purchases, totalling at least 180,000 tonnes of the oilseed, were for shipment in October or November, the peak U.S. soy export season when American soybeans are usually the cheapest in the world, three U.S. traders with knowledge of the deals said.
On Tuesday, wheat weakened on favourable U.S. weather and recent rain in the Black Sea region and Europe, which has helped stabilize crops, analysts said.
Ukrainian ProAgro agriculture consultancy on Tuesday revised up its forecast for the country’s 2020 grain harvest to 74.43 million tonnes from the previous outlook of 72.52 million tonnes due to better weather.
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, soyoil, corn and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday and net sellers of wheat. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)