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GRAINS-Soybeans set for 2nd week of gains on hopes of demand uptick from China
* Soybean futures on track for biggest weekly gain in 7 weeks
* Wheat set to end week with losses on ample world supplies (Adds details, quote in paragraph)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures ticked lower on Friday but were poised for a second week of gains on expectations that China will soon step up purchase of U.S. beans.
Wheat is on track for a weekly loss as ample world supplies weigh on the market.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade is up 1.3% this week, the biggest weekly gain since late December. The market was trading down 0.3% at $8.93-1/4 a bushel as of 0329 GMT.
Wheat is down 2.6% this week, while corn has given up 1.1%.
The market expects a rise in export demand for U.S. farm products as the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade agreement was due to go into effect 30 days after its Jan. 15 signing.
"At the moment trade to China is disrupted because of the coronavirus, but China is expected to be back in the market meeting its commitment under the trade deal," said a Singapore-based trader.
U.S. soybean exports to China fell to their lowest in nearly 10 months as the virus outbreak has raised concerns about demand from the world's top buyer of the oilseed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Thursday.
A weekly government report showed that exporters shipped just 69,009 tonnes of soybeans, about one cargo, to China in the week ended Feb. 6. That was the lowest since U.S. exporters shipped 67,113 tonnes in the week ended April 18, 2019.
Meanwhile, the wheat market remains under pressure from abundant world supplies despite lower production in some exporting countries.
Wheat prices in the European Union could decline from the spring as the prospect of a bumper harvest in Russia and ample feed grain supplies offset an expected fall in EU wheat output, consultancy Strategie Grains said.
The Rosario grains exchange in Argentina late on Wednesday increased its forecast for this season's soybean and corn harvests, citing favourable rains.
Both forecasts were raised by 1 million tonnes to 55 million tonnes for soybeans and 50 million for corn.
Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday and net buyers of soybean futures, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Arun Koyyur)
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