GRAINS-Soybeans exceed two-month high on China buying, U.S. inventory shock

Tom Polansek

* Soybeans hit highest price since July 22

* USDA put U.S. soy, corn stocks below market expectations

* CBOT wheat eases after rally on Monday (Updates with U.S. trading, changes byline, previous dateline PARIS/SYDNEY)

CHICAGO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures prices rose to the highest in more than two months on Tuesday, adding to gains from the previous session when further Chinese purchases and a lower-than-expected estimate of U.S. stockpiles buoyed prices.

Corn also advanced after rallying 4% on Monday when a quarterly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grain stocks report pegged corn and soy inventories below traders' expectations.

Most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.9% at $9.14-1/4 a bushel by 10:25 a.m. CDT (1525 GMT). The price was the highest since July 22.

Most active corn futures were up 0.6% at $3.90-1/2 and reached the highest since Aug. 12.

"A lot of it is follow-through from yesterday," said Brian Hoops, president of U.S. broker Midwest Market Solutions.

Chinese firms bought up to 600,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans on Monday as part of a tariff-free quota allotted to the importers to buy up to 2 million tonnes this week, two sources with knowledge of the deals said.

Traders hope the sales lead to Chinese firms buying more U.S. soybeans over the longer term, Hoops said, after China slashed imports during the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

Short covering helped support soybean and corn prices amid uncertainty about the size of the autumn U.S. corn and soy harvests, traders said. The harvests are off to a slower than normal start, after heavy rains and historic flooding delayed planting in the spring.

"Funds have been pushed to buy back their short positions," consultancy Agritel said.

CBOT wheat futures eased in a turnaround from a seven-week high on Monday and were down 0.9% at $4.91-1/2 a bushel.

"Wheat must prove export demand will offset a larger crop than last year, which won't be easy," Farm Futures said in a note.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Uttaresh V, David Evans and Richard Chang)