October 25, 2019 / 3:23 AM / 3 months ago

GRAINS-Soybeans inch higher; dismal Chinese demand checks gains

    * Lower Chinese purchases cap gains in soybean prices
    * Corn faces second week of losses; wheat set for weaker

 (Adds details, quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures edged
higher on Friday after closing largely unchanged in the last
session, but gains were trimmed by lower-than-expected purchases
by top buyer China.
    Corn is set for a second week of losses as the market
remained under pressure from the U.S. harvest.
    The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract
 gained 0.2% at $9.35-1/2 a bushel, as of 0302 GMT, with
prices almost flat for the week.
    Corn rose 0.1% to $3.87-1/4 a bushel and wheat
added 0.2% to $5.17 a bushel. For the week, corn is set for a
second week of losses while wheat is poised to end the week with
its first decline in eight weeks.
    Private exporters reported the sale of 264,000 tonnes of
U.S. soybeans to China for delivery in the 2019/20 marketing
year, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday, amid
hopes for a partial trade deal between the world's two largest
    "They just bought a few boats but the market was expecting
much higher purchases," said one Singapore-based trader at an
international trading company which supplies beans to China.
    Some purchases had been expected after Beijing this week
offered to exempt importers from tariffs on U.S. shipments.
However, sales volumes remained lighter-than-anticipated since
the White House announced a phase one deal that included a vow
by Beijing to ramp up purchases to record highs.
    Thursday's media report that China has agreed to buy a
certain volume of U.S. farm goods provides only lukewarm
assurance to the agriculture market, which has been waiting for
a resurgence of U.S. exports to the East Asian country, Karen
Braun, a market analyst for Reuters, wrote in a column.

    "While the agreement suggests that trade tensions are easing
and that a deal between the United States and China may finally
be close to reality after nearly a year and a half, the proposed
quantity is not as attractive as what may have been anticipated,
and further purchases are contingent on the final deal."
    Weekly soybean export sales data released by the USDA on
Thursday was also below expectations. Net sales last week fell
to a two-month low of 475,200 tonnes, including just one cargo
of beans to China. Analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of the
report had expected weekly sales of 800,000 tonnes or more.
    Corn export sales of about 582,900 tonnes last week were
within the range of trade expectations, but sales this season
remain well below normal due to stiff competition from
lower-cost producers.
    Wheat export sales fell to a near-four-month low of 262,400
    The International Grains Council on Thursday trimmed its
forecast for global wheat production in the 2019/20 season as
the outlook for Australia's crop dimmed.
    In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body cut its
global wheat production projection by 2 million tonnes to 762
million tonnes.
 Grains prices at 0302 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  517.00  1.00    +0.19%   -0.72%       499.53  56
 CBOT corn   387.25  0.50    +0.13%   -0.13%       384.18  47
 CBOT soy    935.50  2.25    +0.24%   +0.19%       914.33  65
 CBOT rice   11.99   $0.00   +0.00%   +2.48%       $11.98  38
 WTI crude   55.92   -$0.31  -0.55%   -0.09%       $55.21  
 Euro/dlr    $1.110  $0.000  -0.01%   -0.23%               
 USD/AUD     0.6815  0.000   -0.03%   -0.55%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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