GRAINS-Soybeans stay firm on U.S.-China trade deal hopes

Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral

* U.S.-China deal hopes fed by official comments, export sales

* Corn edges up after 7-week low as harvest update awaited

* Wheat ticks down to new one-month low

(Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures edged up for a third consecutive session on Monday as U.S. export sales to China and encouraging comments by Beijing and Washington fed hopes that the countries will reach a deal to defuse their trade dispute. However, Chicago soybeans remained near a one-month low struck last week as investors still sought firmer indications on a possible trade accord, while the planting season in Brazil was also capping U.S. prices. Corn edged higher, steadying after an earlier seven-week low, as the market weighed yield prospects in a delayed U.S. harvest and tepid short-term demand. Wheat inched lower to a new one-month low as large global supplies hung over the market. Grain markets were awaiting further direction from the weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop report later on Monday that will give an update on corn and soybean harvesting, as well as the condition of recently sown winter wheat. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up a quarter of a cent at $9.18-1/2 a bushel by 1130 GMT. CBOT corn was up 0.1% at $3.71-3/4 a bushel, after earlier touching its lowest since Sept. 27 at $3.70-1/2. Wheat was down 0.3% at $5.01-1/2 a bushel, after slipping to its weakest since Oct. 11 at $5.00-3/4. Chinese state media said Washington and Beijing held "constructive talks" on trade in a high-level phone call on Saturday that included Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow had said last week that the two sides were "getting close" to a deal. "The fact that the two are still talking at senior levels is a good sign," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The soybean market is sensitive to developments in the negotiations as the oilseed was the most valuable U.S. agricultural export to China prior to the dispute that has seen Beijing impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm goods. USDA data issued on Friday showed China was the top buyer of U.S. soybeans during the week ended Nov. 7, accounting for 61% of the weekly total of 1.256 million tonnes. "It sounds almost like in the good old days before the trade dispute," Commerzbank said of the exports. Demand sentiment was also boosted by the National Oilseed Processors Association's (NOPA) estimate that U.S. oilseed processors crushed a record-large volume of soybeans in October.

Weekly U.S. corn export sales were in line with analysts' estimates at 581,600 tonnes. Weekly U.S. wheat export sales of 238,600 tonnes were near the low end of expectations.

Prices at 1130 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd PctMove 2018 MoveCBOT wheat 501.50 -1.25 -0.25 503.25 -0.35CBOT corn 371.75 0.50 0.13 375.00 -0.87CBOT soy 918.50 0.25 0.03 895.00 2.63Paris wheat Dec 177.75 0.50 0.28 191.25 -7.06Paris maize Jan 163.75 -0.50 -0.30 175.00 -6.43Paris rape Feb 390.50 1.25 0.32 366.00 6.69WTI crude oil 57.54 -0.18 -0.31 45.41 26.71Euro/dlr 1.11 0.00 0.11 1.1469 -3.55

Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by Uttaresh.V, Kirsten Donovan)