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GRAINS-Corn futures set for second weekly gain on strong U.S. exports

* Corn up 4.6% in 2 weeks on higher demand for U.S. cargoes * Wheat set for third weekly gain on dry weather concerns (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures ticked lower on Friday, but were on track for a second weekly gain as higher-than-expected U.S. weekly exports underpinned sentiment. Soybeans inched down after a rally in the previous session on chances of a breakthrough in the Sino-U.S. trade negotiation. Traders hope recent goodwill gestures from Beijing, including long-sought U.S. soybean purchases, may move both economies closer to a deal to end the trade dispute. Wheat lost ground, but the market was on track for a third weekly gain as dry weather curbs yields in the Southern Hemisphere. "U.S. exports of corn as well as soybeans were pretty good," said one Singapore-based trader. "Further gains will be limited unless there are issues with the U.S. crop." The Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract was up nearly 1% this week, while soybeans have lost almost 1%. Wheat is up 0.5% this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a weekly export sales report said net 1.728 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans were sold last week, along with 1.467 million tonnes of corn, both above trade expectations. U.S. and Chinese deputy trade negotiators resumed face-to-face talks for the first time in nearly two months on Thursday, as the world's two largest economies try to bridge deep policy differences and find a way out of their protracted trade war. A Chinese delegation will visit American farm regions with U.S. officials next week in an effort to build goodwill amid ongoing trade negotiations, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters on Thursday. Mild weather is forecast to continue in the U.S. Midwest over at least the next 15 days. Above-normal rain over that term could help crops that have lacked moisture this month but may also delay some early harvesting. Wheat prices have been underpinned by concerns over dry weather in Australia and Argentina. Dry weather across most of Ukraine has delayed the sowing of winter grain for next year's crop in one of the top Black Sea grain exporters, the nation's weather forecaster said. Ukraine and its rival on Black Sea grain exports, Russia, are both looking for rains in the coming weeks. In Russia, though, the sowing is still running ahead of last year's pace. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybeans, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday and net sellers of CBOT wheat futures, traders said. Grains prices at 0422 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 485.50 -2.50 -0.51% +0.26% 477.23 59 CBOT corn 371.75 -1.00 -0.27% +1.02% 371.88 63 CBOT soy 890.25 -2.75 -0.31% -0.39% 875.36 63 CBOT rice 12.34 -$0.03 -0.20% +0.53% $11.81 83 WTI crude 58.73 $0.60 +1.03% -1.03% $56.02 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.106 -$0.001 -0.11% +0.54% USD/AUD 0.6796 -0.007 -0.99% -0.99% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)

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