November 27, 2019 / 5:52 PM / 16 days ago

GRAINS-Soybeans steady as traders weigh chances for U.S.-China trade deal

* Hopes of U.S.-China trade deal lend some support to soybeans

* Corn, wheat slip in run-up to Thanksgiving holiday closure

* South American crop weather looks favorable -analysts (Recasts with U.S. trading, changes dateline; previous PARIS/SINGAPORE)

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures stabilized on Wednesday after nearing a two-month low a day earlier, as traders weighed the chances for an initial trade accord between Washington and Beijing that could boost U.S. farm exports.

Corn and wheat futures declined again after falling on Tuesday as traders adjusted positions ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, when U.S. markets will close. Grain markets reopen for a shortened session on Friday.

Soybean traders are closely watching negotiations in the U.S.-China trade war because China is the world’s biggest importer of the oilseed. It bought $12 billion worth of the crop from the United States in the year before the dispute began, but has since slashed imports.

Washington and Beijing are close to agreement on the first phase of a trade deal, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, after top negotiators from the two countries agreed to keep working on remaining issues.

“Without a trade agreement signed with China, there is not a lot of reason to buy soybeans at this time other than a technical upward correction,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage in Iowa.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.1% at $8.83-1/2 a bushel at 11:40 a.m. CST (1740 GMT).

Recent liquidation of long positions in the market seems to be easing, traders said.

“Oversold conditions are extensive,” Farm Futures said in a note.

Beneficial rains for soybean and corn planting in Brazil and Argentina have weighed on U.S. futures prices, according to traders.

The United States competes with South America for export business, and China has been buying soybeans from Brazil instead of the U.S. during the trade war.

U.S. farm equipment sales have taken a hit in the wake of the dispute, leaving farmers struggling to turn a profit. Deere & Co warned of lower earnings next year after reporting a fall in quarterly profits.

CBOT corn was down 0.8% at $3.75-1/4 a bushel while wheat dipped 0.5% to $5.28-1/2 a bushel. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by David Evans and Tom Brown)

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