Wires

GRAINS-Soybeans set for third weekly decline on U.S.-China trade jitters

Naveen Thukral

* Chicago soybeans down almost 4% in three weekly decline

* Wheat set for first weekly gain in month on lower supplies

(Adds quote in paragraph 5, updates prices) SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures on Friday were on track for a third weekly loss as fears that completion of an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal could be pushed into next year weighed on the market. Wheat is set for a positive finish this week - its first in a month - as expectations of lower production in the Southern Hemisphere supported prices. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade dropped almost 2% so far this week, taking the losses in three weeks to almost 4%. Wheat is set to close the week with a gain of nearly 2%, having lost ground for the last four weeks, while corn is down 0.7% so far this week, poised for a third weekly decline. "With so much delay, the U.S.-China trade deal looks more unlikely any time soon," said a Singapore-based grains trader. "Wheat prices have been edging higher but that has led to Asian flour millers slowing down their purchases." Completion of a "phase one" U.S.-China trade deal could be delayed until next year, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing trade experts and people close to the White House. China will still strive to reach an initial trade agreement with the United States as both sides keep communication channels open, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, in an attempt to allay fears that talks might be unravelling. China continued its purchases of U.S. soybeans, pork and beef even as negotiators struggled to hammer out details of the first phase of a potential trade deal between the two countries, according to government data released on Thursday. Soybean and corn prices were set to mark weekly declines despite a strong demand for U.S. supplies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported weekly U.S. soybean export sales at more than 1.5 million tonnes, topping trade expectations. The USDA reported weekly export sales of corn for the current marketing year at 788,000 tonnes, up 49% from the prior four-week average. Through its daily reporting system, the USDA said private exporters sold 106,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to unknown destinations, the third such sale announced this week. Lower production in Australia is supporting wheat futures. Argentina is set to dominate Asia's grain market for a second consecutive year in 2020, with trading companies already buying significant volumes anticipating first-quarter demand in the region as drought curbs output in traditional export powerhouse Australia, trade sources said.

The International Grains Council said on Thursday the world's wheat area for the 2020/21 season is expected to expand by 1%.

Grains prices at 0320 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSICBOT wheat 511.75 -0.25 -0.05% -1.30% 516.38 48CBOT corn 368.50 0.00 +0.00% +0.48% 381.88 33CBOT soy 900.75 -0.25 -0.03% -0.47% 930.93 34CBOT rice 12.24 -$0.01 -0.08% +1.12% $12.03 79WTI crude 58.16 -$0.42 -0.72% +1.84% $55.88

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.106 $0.001 +0.05% -0.08%USD/AUD 0.6786 0.000 +0.03% -0.24%

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