September 8, 2017 / 5:07 AM / 10 months ago

GRAINS-Soybeans set for 3rd week of gains on strong demand hopes

    * Up 2.7 pct this week, biggest since week ending July 21
    * Expectations of strong Chinese demand driving soybean
    * China makes record purchases for the month of August

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures firmed
on Friday with the market set for a third week of gains on
expectations of strong demand, led by China and concerns about
potential crop damage from Hurricane Irma.
    With a rise of 0.7 percent on Friday, the most-active
soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 2.7
percent for the week, making it the biggest weekly gain in
nearly two months. 
    Soybeans on Thursday climbed to $9.77-1/2 a bushel, the
highest since Aug. 10.
    Wheat also ticked higher following last session's 2
percent decline and was little changed for the week after rising
0.8 percent the previous week. Corn also edged up on
Friday, on track to end the week with marginal gains for a
second week in a row.
    "Soybeans are likely to get even firmer as China's demand is
surprising," said Ole Houe, an analyst with brokerage IKON
Commodities in Sydney. "They are having solid pace of imports,
it is not just beans, even feed grains."
    China, the world's largest soybean buyer, imported 8.45
million tonnes of soybeans in August, a record for the month
though down 16.2 percent from 10.08 million tonnes in July,
figures from the General Administration of Customs of China
    Concerns that Hurricane Irma will cut production in southern
U.S. states such as Georgia and North Carolina supported
    Irma, which is expected to hit the U.S. mainland as early as
this weekend, could also hamper exports, which would be another
blow to the already light overseas interest in U.S. wheat
    Corn has been under pressure amid expectations of a bumper
U.S. harvest.
    Commodity funds were net sellers of Chicago Board of Trade
corn, soybean and wheat futures contracts on Thursday, traders

 Grains prices at  0450 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  439.00  1.75    +0.40%   -1.51%       456.17  47
 CBOT corn   356.75  1.50    +0.42%   -1.18%       366.97  48
 CBOT soy    975.50  6.75    +0.70%   +0.46%       954.66  65
 CBOT rice   12.67   -$0.02  -0.20%   -0.43%       $12.62  53
 WTI crude   49.21   $0.12   +0.24%   +0.10%       $48.29  64
 Euro/dlr    $1.206  $0.004  +0.36%   +1.25%               
 USD/AUD     0.8101  0.006   +0.68%   +1.28%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
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