GRAINS-Soybeans firm on slow U.S. harvest pace, wheat eases after rally

Naveen Thukral

* Soybeans rise as last phase of U.S. harvest faces weather threat

* Concerns over delay in U.S.-China trade deal cap gains

* Wheat dips after rally, concerns over cold snap in U.S. Plains

(Adds details, quote) SINGAPORE, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures edged up on Wednesday as a slow pace of U.S. harvest supported prices, although worries that U.S.-China trade talks are stalling kept a lid on the market. Wheat slid after climbing more than 2% on Tuesday amid concerns over a crop-threatening cold snap in the U.S. Plains. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of

Trade was up 0.2% at $9.18-1/2 a bushel by 0358 GMT.

Prices had closed little changed on Tuesday after hitting the Oct. 8 low of $9.15 a bushel.

Wheat was down 0.3% at $5.15-1/2 a bushel, havingclosed up 2.2% on Tuesday and corn lost 0.1% at $3.77-1/4

a bushel, having gained 1.2% in the previous session. "Soybeans are finding support due to the tail-end of harvest delays, although risk is actually bigger to the corn crop," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. "We are still unsure about the U.S.-China trade deal, but seems like it is inching closer." The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the soybean harvest was 85% complete, behind analysts' forecasts and below the average pace of 92%. The corn harvest was at 66% complete, behind expectations and lower than a five-year average of 85%, the agency said after the market closed on Tuesday. It said 54% of the winter wheat crop is in good to excellent condition, lagging behind forecasts of a steady rating of 57%. Temperatures dropped to near zero Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius) in wheat-growing areas of the U.S. Plains, including in western Kansas, according to a daily weather report from the USDA. But analysts said it might too early to get worried about the U.S. winter crop which will be harvested in the middle of next year. "Wheat had a bit of an unmotivated rally as it was too early to have real concerns about the cold weather," Houe said. "Global prices eased a couple of dollars last week, so no reason for U.S. futures to run up." The USDA separately reported 528,875 tonnes of U.S. wheat were inspected for export in the week ended Nov. 7. That was slightly above analysts' estimates for 300,000 to 500,000 tonnes. U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday dangled the prospect of completing an initial trade deal with China "soon" but offered no new details on negotiations. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday, and net sellers of soyoil futures, traders said.

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Himani Sarkar)