GRAINS-Wheat up for 2nd session, trades near 1-1/2 year high

    SINGAPORE, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures edged
higher on Wednesday, gaining for a second day and trading near a
1-1/2 year high, with potential export curbs by Russia
underpinning prices.
    Soybeans ticked up as the market awaited signing of a
U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal later in the day that could reopen
China's giant market to U.S. grain and farm product exports.
    * The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of
Trade (CBOT) added 0.3% to $5.70 a bushel as of 0156 GMT.
On Tuesday, the market climbed to its highest since August 20,
2018 at $5.73 a bushel.
    * Soybeans were up 0.1% at $9.42-3/4 a bushel while
corn was flat at $3.89 a bushel.
     * Russia's agriculture ministry is looking to set a
non-tariff quota for grain exports of 20 million tonnes in
January-June, it said in a statement on Tuesday, adding the
quota would be scrapped later in the most active part of season
for trading.
    * This could result in higher demand for U.S. wheat, which
has struggled to win business.
    *  Egypt's main state wheat buyer purchased 240,000 tonnes
of Russian and Romanian wheat in an international purchasing
tender. Prices including cost and freight (C&F) ranged from
$248.85 to $249.90 per tonne, up about $3 to $4 from an Egyptian
wheat tender on Jan. 8.
    * U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to sign a Phase 1
trade deal later in the day. The pact may allow the two sides to
start resolving their trade war, which led to cuts in exports of
U.S. soybeans, corn and other farm products to China.
    * Despite the trade deal, U.S. exporters face tough
competition from a huge soybean harvest in Brazil in early 2020
following recent good weather.
    * Commodity traders and analysts are struggling to map out
how China will reach the eye-popping amounts it is committing to
buy from the United States under the trade deal.
    * Argentina's soybean and corn crops are in still in the
earlier growth stages and the crop-growing regions ended 2019 on
the driest note in several years, Karen Braun, a market analyst
for Reuters, wrote in a column. 
    * But recent rainfall has been helpful and the temperature
outlook in the Pacific Ocean has grown more supportive of good
Argentine harvests, she added.
    * Stocks were steady in early Asian trade on Wednesday as
investors awaited the signing of an initial U.S.-China trade
deal, with sentiment somewhat dented by comments from the U.S.
Treasury Secretary's that tariffs would remain in place for now.

0745   France   CPI (EU Norm) Final MM, YY   Dec
0930   UK       CPI YY                       Dec
1100   EU       Reserve Assets Total         Dec
1900   US       Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book of
economic condition
 Grains prices at 0156 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  570.00  1.50    +0.26%   +0.97%       544.46  75
 CBOT corn   389.00  0.00    +0.00%   +0.84%       384.23  62
 CBOT soy    942.75  0.50    +0.05%   -0.34%       928.22  46
 CBOT rice   13.37   $0.02   +0.11%   +0.30%       $12.98  61
 WTI crude   58.09   -$0.14  -0.24%   +0.02%       $60.09  
 Euro/dlr    $1.113  $0.000  +0.02%   -0.04%               
 USD/AUD     0.6899  0.000   -0.01%   -0.06%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Anil D'Silva)