Chinese premier tells European, Asian leaders Beijing will continue reform

BEIJING, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a meeting between Asian and European leaders in Brussels that China will continue to open up its economy, push forward reforms and improve its business environment, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.

Li said Asian and European countries need to safeguard multilateralism and the rules-based free trade system, Xinhua reported.

Morocco to suspend customs duty on soft wheat in Nov-Dec period

RABAT, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Morocco will suspend customs duty on soft wheat from Nov. 1 until Dec. 31 and will impose a 30 percent duty starting on Jan. 1, 2019, the government's spokesperson said on Friday.

On Thursday, spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi told a news conference that the government council decided to cut duties on soft wheat to 30 percent from Nov. 1 from 135 percent currently.

Khalfi corrected his comments in a statement on Friday saying the suspension of the duty would help maintain the import price of soft wheat at 260 Moroccan dirhams per quintal.

GRAINS-Soybeans hit one-week low on export woes; corn also eases

(Adds closing U.S. prices) By Julie Ingwersen CHICAGO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures fell to a one-week low on Friday and recorded a second straight weekly decline, pressured by fresh cancellations of U.S. soybean sales, traders said. Corn futures fell for a fourth straight session and also notched a weekly drop, while wheat futures firmed after a three-session slide. Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures settled down 6-3/4 cents at $8.56-3/4 per bushel. CBOT December corn ended down 3-3/4 cents at $3.67 a bushel. December

UPDATE 3-UK PM May tells businesses EU is committed to autumn Brexit deal

* May says EU leaders want Brexit deal this autumn

* Businesses view May as striking optimistic tone

* May ready to give ground on N.Ireland backstop - Bloomberg (Updates with comment from May's office)

By Costas Pitas and David Milliken

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May told business leaders during a teleconference on Friday that EU politicians are committed to reaching a Brexit agreement this autumn, striking what one source told Reuters was an upbeat tone.

Brazil soy planting advances to 34 pct of area -consultancy

SAO PAULO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Soy planting by Brazilian farmers for the 2018-19 season progressed to 34 percent of the expected area this week, way ahead of seeding at the same stage last year as favorable weather in most regions speeded up field work.

An AgRural consultancy weekly report on Friday said overall soy planting in Brazil advanced 14 percentage points from the previous week. For comparison, at this time last year planting was at 20 percent of the area. The five-year average is 18 percent.

UPDATE 2-UK PM May tells businesses EU is committed to autumn Brexit deal

* May says EU leaders want Brexit deal this autumn

* Businesses view May as striking optimistic tone

* May willing to give ground on N.Ireland backstop - Bloomberg (Updates with statement from PM May's office, Bloomberg report)

By Costas Pitas and David Milliken

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May told business leaders during a teleconference on Friday that EU politicians are committed to reaching an agreement this autumn, striking what one source told Reuters was an upbeat tone.

GRAINS-Soybeans hit one-week low on export woes; corn also eases

(Recasts throughout with updated prices, quotes; changes byline, changes dateline, previous LONDON) By Julie Ingwersen CHICAGO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures fell to a one-week low on Friday and were on pace for a second straight weekly decline, pressured by fresh cancellations of U.S. soybean sales, traders said. Corn futures fell for a fourth straight session and were also on track for a weekly drop, while wheat futures firmed after a three-session slide. As of 12:40 p.m. CDT (1740 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade

UPDATE 1-UK PM May reassures business of EU commitment to autumn Brexit deal -source

(Adds details)

By Costas Pitas

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May struck an upbeat tone on the Brexit talks and told business leaders during a teleconference on Friday that EU politicians are committed to reaching an agreement this autumn, a source told Reuters.

London and Brussels are racing to strike a deal by the end of the year and firms are worried that without one, there could be widespread disruption of everything from supply chains to flights and the movement of food and livestock.

UPDATE 1-Carrots could be key to making greener buildings, say researchers

(Adds more quotes, details)

By Jim Drury

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Crunchy and tasty, yes, but could carrots also strengthen cement and cut carbon dioxide emissions for the building industry?

A group of researchers at Britain's Lancaster University has been using a household food blender to mix particles from the root vegetable with concrete to see if they can produce a stronger and more environmentally sound product.

REFILE-UPDATE 3-EU signs Singapore trade deal, urges China to open up

(Adds Merkel's full name and title in paragraph 6)

* 51 heads of state in Brussels for biennial summit

* Shared desire to stem protectionism

* China resists opening markets or cutting subsidies

* Singapore trade deal eight years in the making

By Philip Blenkinsop and Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The European Union signed a free-trade deal with Singapore at a summit with Asian leaders on Friday and pressed China to allow greater foreign investment in its economy, but ran into familiar resistance from Beijing over state subsidies.

Pages