December 31, 2018 / 4:10 AM / 6 months ago

GRAINS-U.S. soy rises on U.S.-China trade hopes but set for second annual drop

    * Soy in line for second annual decline
    * Corn rises 7.4 pct so far in 2018
    * Wheat set for strongest annual gain since 2010

 (Updates with latest prices)
    By Emily Chow
    KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures
climbed to their highest in more than a week on Monday, buoyed
by hints of improved trade relations between Washington and
Beijing that could boost China's soybean purchases.
    The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of
Trade rose 0.5 percent to $9.00-1/4 a bushel by 0336 GMT.
For the year however, soybeans are set to drop 6.5 percent for a
second year of declines. 
    Meanwhile, wheat and corn futures both edged up but were
trading within recent ranges. Corn gained 0.3 percent to
$3.76-1/2 a bushel, and is set to gain 7.4 percent for the year.
    Wheat increased 0.2 percent to $5.12-1/2 a bushel. The
grain is set to rise 20 percent in 2018, its strongest annual
gain since 2010. 
    Prices on Monday were supported by a telephone call on trade
between China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald
Trump. The world's two biggest economies have already made plans
for face-to-face trade consultations in January to resolve a
months-long trade war.
    China has also opened the door to rice imports from the U.S.
for the first time ever in what analysts took to signal a
warming of relations between the two countries. It was not
immediately clear how much rice China might seek to buy from the
    The U.S. and China have clashed over trade this year, with
the countries placing tariffs on each other's trade goods.
    Earlier this month, however, China made its first major
purchase of U.S. soybeans since Trump and Xi struck a truce,
providing some relief to U.S. farmers who have struggled to find
buyers for their record-large harvest.
    This was followed by another round of U.S. soybean
purchases, as private exporters sold 1.199 million tonnes of
U.S. soybeans for shipment to China.
    The weekly export sales report from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture has been postponed indefinitly because of a partial
government shutdown.  

 Grains prices at 0336 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  512.50  1.00    +0.20%   +0.39%       517.83  43
 CBOT corn   376.50  1.00    +0.27%   +0.53%       378.20  51
 CBOT soy    900.25  4.75    +0.53%   +2.01%       906.83  48
 CBOT rice   10.42   $0.11   +1.07%   +1.86%       $10.73  15
 WTI crude   45.75   $0.42   +0.93%   +2.56%       $50.25  
 Euro/dlr    $1.144  $0.000  +0.01%   +0.07%               
 USD/AUD     0.7062  0.002   +0.30%   +0.41%               

 (Reporting by Emily Chow; editing by Richard Pullin and
Christian Schmollinger)
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