GRAINS-Soy climbs to 2-year high on China demand, fund-driven buying

(New throughout; updates prices, adds quotes, changes byline, changes dateline from previous PARIS/SINGAPORE)

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures surged to two-year highs on Wednesday on continued export demand from top global soy buyer China and fund-driven buying, analysts said.

Corn and wheat futures followed soybeans higher, with additional support from a more than 4% jump in U.S. crude oil prices. Corn and soyoil sometimes follow energy prices due to their role as feed stocks for ethanol and soy-based biodiesel fuel.

As of 12:42 p.m. CDT (1742 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures were up 18-1/2 cents at $10.10 per bushel after reaching $10.12-1/4, a life-of-contract top and the highest price for a most-active contract on a continuous chart since June 2018.

CBOT December corn was up 3-1/2 cents at $3.69-1/2 a bushel but stayed below Monday's six-month peak of $3.71. December wheat was up 3-1/4 cents at $5.41-1/2 a bushel.

Soybeans led the way up, extending gains after the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 327,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China. The USDA has announced U.S. soy sales to China in each of the last nine business days.

Technical buying accelerated as the CBOT November contract pushed above its previous contract high of $10.08-3/4.

"Soybeans lead the grain and oilseed complex higher as fund money pours in ... on expectations of a tightening balance sheet as crop yields decline and demand increases in China," StoneX analyst Arlan Suderman wrote in a client note.

Corn followed soybeans higher. Some traders are considering whether the roughly $1.30-a-bushel rally in soybean futures since mid-August will encourage U.S. farmers to plant more soy and less corn for 2021, a supportive factor for deferred corn futures.

A Farm Futures producers' survey conducted in late July and released on Wednesday projected a 4.9% rise in U.S. 2021 soybean seedings and an 0.3% drop in corn acres.

"There is going to be acreage competition between beans and corn ... We have not seen that for a couple of years," said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis.

Wheat followed the firm trend, with the CBOT December contract rebounding from a three-week low.

Egypt's state grain buyer GASC bought 175,000 tonnes of Russian-origin wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Polish wheat in an international tender.

(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Timothy Gardner)

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