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GRAINS-Soybeans set for biggest weekly gain in 3 months on Chinese buying

Naveen Thukral

* Soybeans futures gain 4.4% this week, biggest jump since mid-June

* China's biggest purchases of U.S. beans since late June supports

* Gains likely to be capped by expectations of ample supplies

(Adds details, quote) SINGAPORE, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures were largely unchanged on Friday but they were poised for their biggest weekly rise in nearly three months, underpinned by China making its most significant purchases of U.S. beans since at least June. Wheat rose for a second session and was set to end the week with most gains since mid-June on expectations of lower production in South America. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade are up more than 4.4% this week, set for their biggest weekly rally since June 14. "Soybeans are getting a bit of a boost from Chinese buying," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank. "But overall prices are likely to be capped as the USDA has shown that there are plenty of feed grain supplies globally." Chinese importers bought at least 10 cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Thursday, or about 600,000 tonnes, for shipment from Pacific Northwest export terminals, two traders with direct knowledge of the deals said. The deals, China's first U.S. soybean purchases in a month and the largest since at least June, come ahead of U.S.-China trade talks set for early October in Washington. Lower-level U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to meet within days.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a monthly crop production report for September lowered its U.S. 2019/20 corn yield estimate to 168.2 bushels per acre (bpa), down from 169.5 in August but above the average estimate in a Reuters analyst poll of 167.2 bpa. The agency trimmed its U.S. soybean yield estimate to 47.9 bpa, down from 48.5 in August, but above the average Reuters poll estimate of 47.2 bpa. CBOT corn has risen 3.7% this week and wheat is up 4.5% this week, with both markets on track for the biggest weekly gains since June. Maize harvests, which are kicking off in some parts of the European Union, will contrast sharply from one side of the bloc to the other this year after a heatwave hurt crops in the West, while sparing major producing countries in the Southeast. Commodity funds were net buyers of Chicago Board of Trade wheat, corn, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said.

Grains prices at 0224 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 484.50 0.75 +0.16% +0.47% 478.48 61CBOT corn 368.75 1.50 +0.41% +2.01% 378.58 49CBOT soy 895.50 0.00 +0.00% +2.69% 870.81 72CBOT rice 12.16 -$0.02 -0.21% +1.17% $11.74 82WTI crude 54.97 -$0.12 -0.22% -1.40% $55.22

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.107 $0.006 +0.52% +0.21%USD/AUD 0.6870 0.001 +0.13% +0.16%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich)