GRAINS-Soybeans at 27-month high on Chinese demand, corn dips

* Soybeans at highest since June 2018 on hopes of strong demand

* Corn dips from 6-mth peak, fall curbed by China crop losses (Adds quote in paragraph 3, details on China's corn crop losses)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures were little changed on Thursday, after hitting their highest since June 2018 earlier in the session on the back of increased demand from top importer China.

Corn eased but prices were trading close to their highest since mid-March, buoyed by crop losses in China.

"The outlook for China's imports of both soybeans and corn is bullish for prices," said one Singapore-based trader at an international grains trading company. "We are revising our global supply-demand balance sheet as a result of Chinese demand."

The most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.02% at $10.11 a bushel by 0349 GMT, not far from the session high of $10.18-1/4 a bushel - the highest since June 1, 2018. Soybeans firmed 2% on Wednesday after data showed that China has stepped up purchases of U.S. soybeans.

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 past nine business days.

Corn slid 0.3% to $3.70-1/2 a bushel, having touched its highest since March 12 at $3.72 a bushel, while wheat was down 0.5% at $5.39-1/4 a bushel.

China is expected to import larger volumes of corn because of domestic crop losses and strong demand.

China's corn crop is expected to fall by up to 10 million tonnes, or nearly 4%, from the latest government estimates after heavy wind and rains toppled crops in major production areas in the northeastern cornbelt, analysts said.

Meanwhile, Brazilian farmers in the north and northeast of the country, regions dominated by the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado savanna, are expected to expand their soy fields by more than 6% in the 2020/21 crop season, the fastest rate in four years.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean, soymeal, soyoil and wheat futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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