* Soybeans firm for fourth straight session
* Corn rebounds from 10-1/2-year low
* Wheat firms, set to finish week up 2.6%
By Colin Packham
SYDNEY, April 24 (Reuters) - U.S soybeans edged higher for a fourth consecutive session on Friday, as expectations China will step up purchases pushed the oilseed towards a weekly gain of nearly 1%.
Corn was trading flat, but on course for its biggest weekly gain in seven, while wheat was poised to finish the week up more than 2.5%.
The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.1% at $8.47-1/2 a bushel after closing 0.5% firmer on Thursday.
For the week, soybeans gained 0.6% so far after posting losses of 2.5% in the previous week.
Soybeans were drawing support from expectations of continued strong demand from China, analysts said.
“The USDA reported that the U.S. had flogged another 272,000 tonnes of season 2019 beans to China,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
“Another big U.S. soybean order helps encourage the view that buyers are back.”
On Thursday, Reuters reported that China is preparing to buy more than 30 million tonnes of crops for state stockpiles to help protect itself from supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and make good on pledges to buy more U.S. crops.
China plans to add about 10 million tonnes of soybeans, 20 million tonnes of corn and 1 million tonnes of cotton to its state reserves, said two of the sources, who were briefed on the government plan.
The most active corn futures are unchanged at $3.26 a bushel after closing up 0.4% in the previous session.
Corn gained 1.2% so far this week, set for the biggest weekly gain in seven.
Corn has drawn support in recent days on bargain buying after prices hit a 10-1/2-year low this week - though expectations of weak demand for ethanol provided a ceiling.
The most active wheat futures rose 0.5% at $5.47-1/2 a bushel after closing up 0.2% in the previous session.
Wheat climbed 2.6% so far this week, after losing 4.1% in the previous week.
Expectations for export curbs in Ukraine and Russia as well as concerns that dry conditions may limit crop production in the Black Sea region and Europe raised hopes that U.S. exporters may win some of the Saudi business, traders said.
Ukraine faced unfavourable weather conditions in the first half of this month and very dry air reduced already low moisture reserves in the soil, APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Thursday. (Reporting by Colin Packham, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)