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GRAINS-Soybeans near 3-month high on China trade deal hopes

* Soybeans near 3-month high on talk of China purchase offer * Forecasts of Midwest snowstorm also supportive * Wheat eases from highs on international competition (Recasts with talk of China offer, updates prices) By Sybille de La Hamaide and Naveen Thukral Oct 9 (Reuters) - Chicago soybeans rose for a second session on Wednesday, trading near a three-month peak, boosted by a newspaper report that China had offered to increase its purchases of soybeans as part of a trade deal with the United States. Forecasts for a snowstorm in the U.S. Midwest growing region threatening supplies were also supportive. Wheat pared gains after climbing to its highest in two months as abundant world supplies and tough international competition weighed on prices. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.8% at $9.27-3/4 a bushel by 1117 GMT, its highest level since July 15. Wheat dropped 0.15% at $4.99-1/2 a bushel, having climbed to its highest since Aug. 9 at $5.02-3/4 a bushel earlier in the day. Corn was unchanged at $3.95-3/4 a bushel, having gained 2.3% in the previous session. The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that the team of China's lead trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, had offered to boost annual purchases of soybeans to 30 million tonnes compared with 20 million at present as the two countries seek to resolve their trade dispute. Liu is scheduled to travel to Washington for their next round of trade talks on Oct. 10-11. Forecasts for a snowstorm in northern stretches of the U.S. Midwest added support, as wintry weather raises the prospect of crop damage and further delays to an already slow harvest. "Harvesting of U.S. corn and soybeans is running behind the average pace which has left crops vulnerable to damage from adverse weather," said one Singapore-based trader. The storm was expected to drop six to 12 inches of snow in major crop growing states such as North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota, forecaster Commodity Weather Group said. In its weekly crop update on Monday afternoon, the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) said 15% of the corn crop and 14% of the soybean crop had been harvested as of Oct. 6, well behind the average pace. Wheat exporters from the Black Sea region continued to offer stiff competition in the international market. Egypt's state grain buyer has bought 295,000 tonnes of Russian and Ukrainian wheat in an international purchasing tender, it said on Tuesday. France was not among the suppliers this time but farm office FranceAgriMer raised its forecast for soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season to 11.7 million tonnes, up from 11.0 million last month. The revised 2019/20 forecast was up nearly 14% compared with last season's level and would be a four-year high. Recent rain has brought relief to parched west European grain belts and improved conditions for cereal sowing and for earlier-sown rapeseed crops, analysts and traders said. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean and soymeal futures contracts on Tuesday and net sellers of soyoil, traders said. Estimates for net fund buying in corn varied widely, from 16,000 contracts to 40,000 contracts. Prices at 1117 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Move 2018 Pct Move CBOT wheat 499.50 -0.75 -0.15 503.25 -0.75 CBOT corn 395.75 0.00 0.00 375.00 5.53 CBOT soy 927.75 7.25 0.79 895.00 3.66 Paris wheat Dec 178.25 0.25 0.14 191.25 -6.80 Paris maize Nov 164.50 -0.50 -0.30 175.25 -6.13 Paris rape Nov 387.75 -0.50 -0.13 364.00 6.52 WTI crude oil 53.06 0.43 0.82 45.41 16.85 Euro/dlr 1.10 0.00 0.25 1.1469 -4.25 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Aditya Soni and David Evans)

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