Wires

GRAINS-Soybeans tick higher; dismal Chinese demand check gains

SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures edged higher on Friday after closing largely unchanged in the last session, but gains were trimmed by lower-than-expected purchases by top buyer China.

Corn is set for a second week of losses as the market remained under pressure from the U.S. harvest.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract gained 0.1% at $9.34-1/2 a bushel, as of 0203 GMT, with prices almost flat for the week.

* Corn rose 0.1% to $3.87-1/4 a bushel and wheat added 0.2% to $5.17 a bushel. For the week, corn is set for a second week of losses while wheat is poised to end the week with its first decline in eight weeks.

* Private exporters reported the sale of 264,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China for delivery in the 2019/20 marketing year, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday, amid hopes for a partial trade deal between the world's two largest economies.

* Some purchases had been expected after Beijing this week offered to exempt importers from tariffs on U.S. shipments. However, sales volumes remained lighter-than-anticipated since the White House announced a phase one deal that included a vow by Beijing to ramp up purchases to record highs.

* Thursday's media report that China has agreed to buy a certain volume of U.S. farm goods provides only lukewarm assurance to the agriculture market, which has been waiting for a resurgence of U.S. exports to the East Asian country, Karen Braun, a market analyst for Reuters, wrote in a column.

"While the agreement suggests that trade tensions are easing and that a deal between the United States and China may finally be close to reality after nearly a year and a half, the proposed quantity is not as attractive as what may have been anticipated, and further purchases are contingent on the final deal."

* Weekly soybean export sales data released by the USDA on Thursday was also below expectations. Net sales last week fell to a two-month low of 475,200 tonnes, including just one cargo of beans to China. Analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of the report had expected weekly sales of 800,000 tonnes or more.

* Corn export sales of about 582,900 tonnes last week were within the range of trade expectations, but sales this season remain well below normal due to stiff competition from lower-cost producers.

* Wheat export sales fell to a near-four-month low of 262,400 tonnes.

* The International Grains Council on Thursday trimmed its forecast for global wheat production in the 2019/20 season as the outlook for Australia's crop dimmed.

* In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body cut its global wheat production projection by 2 million tonnes to 762 million tonnes.

MARKET NEWS

* The British pound fell against the dollar on Thursday after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for a national election, while global stock markets edged higher.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

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(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich)