GRAINS-Soybeans set for 5th week of gains on Chinese demand hopes

    SINGAPORE, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures gained
more ground on Friday with the market poised for a fifth week of
gains, underpinned by expectations of higher Chinese demand.
    Wheat was on track for a fourth weekly gain as the market
was supported by declining condition of the U.S. winter crop.
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that a Phase 1
trade deal with Beijing would be signed on Jan. 15. U.S.
officials expect China to make large purchases of agriculture
products, although details have not been announced. 

    * Soybeans posted annual gains of 6.8% in 2019, while wheat
rose 11% and corn firmed 3.4% over the year at the CBOT. 
    * China has eased customs regulations on imports of soybean
through some northern border checkpoints, the commerce ministry
said, a move that could smooth the way for shipments from
neighbours such as Kazakhstan, Russia and perhaps Ukraine.

    * Condition ratings for winter wheat declined from late
November to late December in most U.S. Plains states, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Thursday, reflecting
dry conditions in some areas. nL1N295199
    * The USDA issued its last national winter wheat ratings of
the season on Nov. 25, reporting 52% of the U.S. crop in good to
excellent condition as of Nov. 24. Over the winter, USDA's
National Agricultural Statistics Service releases monthly
reports for select states.
    * Traders are waiting for the agency to issue crop
production data on Jan. 10 amid uncertainty about the size of
the autumn corn harvest, which was delayed by cold, wet weather.

    * The USDA said in a separate report that 5.24 million tons,
or 175 million bushels, of U.S. soybeans were crushed in
November. This was below analysts' expectations for 5.277
million short tons, or 175.9 million bushels.  
    * The agency on Friday is due to report weekly export sales
of grains and soybeans, a day later than usual due to the New
Year's Day holiday on Wednesday.
    * Commodity funds were net buyers of Chicago Board of Trade
corn, wheat, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on
Thursday, traders said.
    * Global stock markets jumped on the first day of trading in
2020 as a shot of Chinese stimulus and economic data drove a
gauge of world equity performance to the latest in a series of
record highs, while the dollar snapped a four-day losing streak.

0700   UK        Nationwide House Price MM, YY   Dec
0745   France    CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY         Dec
0855   Germany   Unemployment Chg, Rate SA       Dec
1300   Germany   CPI Prelim YY                   Dec
1300   Germany   HICP Prelim YY                  Dec
1500   US        ISM Manufacturing PMI           Dec
1900   US        Federal Open Market Committee issues 
minutes from its meeting of December 10-11
 Grains prices at 0152 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  561.25  1.00    +0.18%   +0.45%       537.01  75
 CBOT corn   392.00  0.50    +0.13%   +1.10%       382.58  68
 CBOT soy    957.00  0.75    +0.08%   +0.16%       918.38  74
 CBOT rice   13.11   -$0.05  -0.42%   -1.35%       $12.82  55
 WTI crude   61.70   $0.52   +0.85%   +1.05%       $59.40  
 Euro/dlr    $1.117  $0.000  +0.03%   -0.33%               
 USD/AUD     0.6975  -0.002  -0.26%   -0.60%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)