November 15, 2018 / 3:19 AM / 6 months ago

GRAINS-U.S. soybeans extend gains on export sales; wheat rebounds

* U.S. soy shippers find markets after China exports dried up

* Tighter wheat supply seen, prices up after a two-day drop (Adds analyst comment, updates prices)

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose for a second session on Thursday, supported by fresh export sales and slower-than-anticipated harvesting, with wheat prices recovering after a two-day slide.

Private exporters sold 148,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations, the second such sale in as many days, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday.

The most-traded soybean for January delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.5 percent at $8.88-1/4 a bushel, by 0307 GMT.

U.S. soybean exports to top buyer China have declined in recent months after Beijing raised tariffs on the most valuable U.S. agricultural export to the country amid an ongoing trade war between the world’s top economies. China has since mostly scooped up Brazil’s soybean crop.

“There’s ultimately going to be a market for U.S. beans, it just had to come at a discount,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank.

Hopes are high for a U.S.-China meeting later this month to try to de-escalate the trade dispute. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina at the end of November and in early December.

The slow U.S. harvest pace also continued to boost soybean prices. The U.S. soybean harvest was 88 percent complete, behind the average trade estimate of 91 percent and the five-year average of 93 percent, USDA data showed on Tuesday.

Chicago wheat gained 0.8 percent to $5.06-3/4 a bushel and corn added 0.2 percent to $3.67-3/4.

The global grain market needs more U.S. wheat to make up for tightening supply in other major exporting zones, traders said.

“We are just seeing less grains available after three or four record seasons of global wheat production,” said Ziebell.

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr., Editing by Joseph Radford and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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