Soybeans near 3-month top

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    Chicago soybean futures ticked higher on Thursday, trading below a near three-month high hit in the previous session, as expectations of Chinese buying of US supplies supported the market.

    Wheat edged higher, while corn lost ground for a second straight session in positioning ahead of a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on global supplies and demand later in the day.

    The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) added 0.1 percent at $9.24-1/4 a bushel by 0248 GMT, having climbed to its highest since July 15 at 9.31-1/2 a bushel on Wednesday.

    Wheat added 0.1 percent to $5-3/4 a bushel and corn gave up 0.1 percent to $3.93-3/4 a bushel.

    “US-China trade talks and Chinese buying of US beans are in focus although expectations for the talks are pretty low,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank.

    The soybean market is finding support after the Financial Times reported that the team of China’s lead trade negotiator had offered to boost annual purchases of soybeans to 30 million tons from 20 million at present, as the two countries seek to resolve their trade dispute.

    Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, is scheduled to travel to Washington for the next round of trade talks on October 10 to 11.

    The market is monitoring a winter storm brewing in the northern US Plains and Rocky Mountains that is expected to bring freezing temperatures late this week into the Dakotas, Nebraska and portions of Minnesota and Iowa. The storm could potentially damage corn and soybean crops.

    Ahead of the USDA’s monthly supply/demand reports, analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected the government to lower its estimates of US 2019/20 yield, production and ending stocks for both corn and soybeans.

    Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soyoil and wheat futures contracts on Wednesday and net buyers of soybeans and soymeal, traders said. – Reuters