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336393

GRAINS-Soy firms on bargain buying but posts weekly decline; wheat ends don

(Updates with closing U.S. prices)

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose on Friday on bargain buying after a two-session slide, but still ended the week down about 1% on uncertainty about demand from China, traders said.

Wheat futures turned lower, retreating from early advances, with the benchmark December contract on the Chicago Board of Trade declining for a third straight session following news this week of an extension of a corridor for grain exports from war-torn Ukraine. For the week, CBOT wheat fell 1.3%.

Corn futures ended fractionally higher after a choppy session and finished the week up 1.5%.

CBOT January soybeans settled Friday up 11-1/4 cents, or 0.8%, at $14.28-1/4 per bushel. CBOT December wheat finished down 3-1/2 cents, or 0.4%, at $8.02-1/2 a bushel, while December corn settled up 1/4 cent at $6.67-3/4.

Soybeans firmed but the benchmark January contract stayed inside of Thursday's trading range as traders awaited fresh fundamental news. The market was digesting Thursday's weekly export sales report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which showed U.S. soybean sales for the last reporting week just above 3 million tonnes.

"Demand remains fairly good for beans. We saw large export sales in beans yesterday that I don't think was worked into the market because of the focus around the Black Sea region, so that is finally starting to catch up," said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

But worries about future demand from top global soy buyer China hung over the market. China is facing a rise in COVID-19 cases, raising fears of lockdowns that could curb demand for commodities.

CBOT wheat futures sagged on a lack of fresh supportive news and a firmer dollar, which tends to make U.S. grains less competitive globally.

Talk of further sales of French wheat to China and of possible sales of northern European wheat to the United States underscored how U.S. wheat remains uncompetitive globally.

The CBOT December wheat contract hovered above a 2-1/2-month low set on Thursday after a deal allowing war-torn Ukraine to export agricultural products from Black Sea ports was extended for another 120 days. (Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Vinay Dwivedi, Nick Zieminski and Richard Chang)

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