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GRAINS-Soy futures recover from contract lows ahead of US-China trade talks

Tom Polansek

* Traders focus on U.S.-China trade war

* China's Vice Premier Liu He to visit United States

* Slow U.S. corn planting may threaten yields (Recasts with start of U.S. trading, updates quotes; changes byline, dateline previous HAMBURG)

CHICAGO, May 7 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures crept higher on Tuesday in a rebound from contract lows reached the previous session and as traders breathed a sigh of relief over confirmation that a top Chinese official will visit the United States for trade talks this week.

Corn and wheat futures also strengthened at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).

The most actively traded contract reached its lowest price in nearly eight months on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter he would raise tariffs on imports of Chinese goods this week.

The tweets raised concerns that it would take Washington and Beijing longer than expected to resolve a trade war that has slashed shipments of U.S. soy to China.

Soybeans were the single most valuable U.S. agricultural export crop and until the trade war, China bought $12 billion-worth a year from American farmers.

China's Commerce Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who leads trade talks for Beijing, will visit the United States on Thursday and Friday. The announcement gave some grain traders hope that negotiations could get back on track.

"We're happy we now have confirmation there will be a meeting here Thursday and Friday," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Illinois-based broker Allendale.

"We had our scare and at least right now we're trying to stabilize."

The most active July soybean contract on the CBOT rose 3 cents to $8.33-1/4 a bushel by 12:15 p.m. CDT (1715 GMT), after trading as low as $8.16-3/4 a bushel on Monday.

Corn rose 3 cents to $3.67-1/4 a bushel while wheat advanced 3-1/2 cents to $4.40-3/4 a bushel at the CBOT.

Corn futures got a boost from concerns about delayed planting of the U.S. crop due to wet weather, according to traders.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday said 23 percent of the crop had been planted, below the five-year average of 46 percent and expectations for 25 percent.

"Some 50 percent of U.S. corn needs to be planted by mid-May, otherwise there could be a threat to yields," said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager at INTL FCStone. "Mid-May is next week and we are still a long way from 50 percent of U.S. corn planted."

The USDA its set to issue an update on global supplies and demand on Friday. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by David Goodman and Alistair Bell)