November 16, 2018 / 3:51 AM / 3 months ago

GRAINS-U.S. soybeans gain for 3rd day amid U.S.-China trade hopes

* Soybean prices up marginally for the week

* U.S. may still raise tariffs on Chinese goods in Jan -OCBC (Adds analyst comment, updates prices)

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures edged up for a third session on Friday, supported by expectations that the United States and top soybean buyer China, now tied in a tit-for-tat tariff war, will resume trade talks.

U.S. soybean shipments to China have dried up in recent months after Beijing raised tariffs amid an ongoing trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

But investors are hoping for a de-escalation in the trade tensions when U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina later this month.

Soybeans for January delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.1 percent at $8.90 a bushel by 0335 GMT, gaining marginally for the week.

Chicago wheat rose 0.2 percent to $5.06-1/4 a bushel and corn was flat at $3.67-3/4. Wheat has risen nearly 1 percent so far this week, with corn was down slightly.

Ahead of the Trump-Xi meeting, China sent its written response to U.S. demands for trade reforms this week, although a senior Trump administration official told Reuters that the Chinese response is unlikely to trigger a breakthrough at the talks.

“It seems the current effort may not be enough to stop the U.S. from raising its tariff to 25 percent from January 2019,” analysts at Singapore bank OCBC said in a note.

Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports and the tariff rate on $200 billion in Chinese goods is set to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent on Jan. 1.

But forecasts for U.S. soybean inventories to approach 1 billion bushels by the end of the 2018/19 marketing year, even if Washington and Beijing make progress with trade talks, kept a lid on price gains.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture this month raised its forecast of U.S. soy ending stocks to 955 million bushels.

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. Editing by Joseph Radford

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