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GRAINS-Soybeans fall for 2nd session on lower Chinese buying; wheat dips

Naveen Thukral

* Chinese buying of U.S. beans fails to impress the market Wheat dips but market set for 5th straight weekly gain

(Adds details, quote) SINGAPORE, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures slid for a second straight session on Friday, dropping to their weakest in more than one week as lower-than-expected Chinese buying weighed on the market. Wheat ticked lower although the market is set for a fifth consecutive weekly gain on expectations of strong demand for U.S. supplies. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was down 1.5 percent for the week, the biggest weekly loss since mid-September. Soybeans hit a low of 9.02-1/4 a bushel on Friday, the weakest since Dec. 6. Wheat was up nearly 0.4 percent for the week and corn was down around half a percent. Soybeans slid after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters sold 1.13 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the first significant purchases in more than six months after a U.S.-China trade truce was reached on Dec. 1.

But the market was expecting China to purchase between 3 and 5 million tonnes, traders said. And there was no clarity about China making further purchases from the United States amid domestic oversupply and slowing demand for animal feed. "China has purchased between 1.5 and 2 million tonnes. That is a hefty sale. And China is leading people to believe that is just the start of their buying programme," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Oilseed markets, given prices fell on this news, were not impressed." The USDA has forecast that U.S. soybean stocks at the end of the 2018/19 marketing year will reach a record-high 955 million bushels, doubling from a year earlier. Global soy stocks are seen swelling to 115 million tonnes. There was supportive news in the wheat market. The USDA reported weekly export sales of U.S. wheat at 754,000 tonnes, the biggest tally since August. Russia's agriculture ministry will hold a meeting with grain exporters on Dec. 21, Interfax news agency reported, feeding speculation that the world's biggest supplier might move to curb exports. Still, European Union grain crops will jump in 2019 with soft wheat, the main crop cultivated in the bloc, hitting a four-year high due mainly to a sharp rise in projected yields after a severe drought this year, Strategie Grains said on Thursday. In its first estimate for next year's crop, the consultancy estimated the EU soft wheat harvest at 147 million tonnes, up 16 percent from a poor 127 million tonnes in 2018.

Grains prices at 0237 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 533.25 -2.75 -0.51% +16.68% 468.46 64CBOT corn 383.25 -1.00 -0.26% +6.02% 363.39 66CBOT soy 902.75 -4.25 -0.47% -0.19% 895.95 50CBOT rice 10.45 -$0.01 -0.05% +6.04% $10.27 22WTI crude 52.39 -$0.19 -0.36% +40.61% $38.15

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.136 $0.005 +0.40% +0.04%USD/AUD 0.7186 -0.002 -0.28% -0.04%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)