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GRAINS-Soybeans set for weekly gains on Chinese demand; corn eases

Naveen Thukral

* Soybeans poised for weekly rise as China buys U.S. beans

* Corn falls for third session on U.S. harvest pressure

(Adds details, quote) SINGAPORE, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures lost ground on Friday, but the market was set to end the week on a positive note as recent purchases by top importer China renewed optimism about a possible trade deal between Washington and Beijing. Corn lost ground for a third session in a row as U.S. harvest is set to gather pace, boosting world supplies. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.3% so far this week after closing 1.8% lower last week. Soybeans were down 0.4% at $8.85 a bushel, as of 0335 GMT. Corn was trading down 0.6% at $3.70-1/4 a bushel and wheat was 0.2% lower at $4.83-1/4 a bushel with both markets largely unchanged for the week. "Chinese buying is the main theme in the market which is supporting prices," said one Singapore-based trader. "But we don't see much upside as African swine fever is limiting demand." China, the world's largest soybean importer, will buy about 6 million tonnes of soy from the United States before trade talks in early October, said a chief analyst at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co Ltd. Purchases of U.S. agricultural products such as soybeans, the biggest U.S. farm export in terms of dollar value, are seen as part of efforts to improve relations during the trade war between the United States and China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its daily reporting system, said private exporters sold 257,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China for delivery in the 2019/20 marketing year that began on Sept. 1. The International Grains Council on Thursday cut its forecast for Australia's grain crop in the 2019/20 season because of unfavourable weather, but raised its outlook for the European Union to a four-year high. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body put Australia's grain crop at 31 million tonnes, down from a previous forecast of 34.2 million but still above the prior season's 28.3 million. The EU's grain crop was upwardly revised to 311.7 million tonnes, a four-year high, from 309.5 million in the last monthly update. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts, and net buyers of CBOT wheat futures on Thursday, traders said.

Grains prices at 0335 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 483.25 -1.00 -0.21% +0.31% 475.95 52CBOT corn 370.25 -2.25 -0.60% -1.20% 368.18 57CBOT soy 885.00 -3.50 -0.39% -1.03% 876.21 53CBOT rice 12.05 -$0.03 -0.25% +0.42% $11.86 55WTI crude 56.12 -$0.29 -0.51% -0.65% $56.48

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.092 -$0.002 -0.18% -0.88%USD/AUD 0.6754 0.000 +0.06% -0.66%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)