SINGAPORE - Chicago corn futures slid for a second session on Wednesday, although losses were checked as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pegged the rate of harvest behind market expectations.
Soybeans gained ground, rising for three out of four sessions, on expectations of Chinese purchases of U.S. agriculture products.
The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was down 0.5% at $3.91-1/4 a bushel by 0317 GMT, having closed down 1.1% in the previous session.
Soybeans added 0.1% to $9.34-3/4 a bushel and wheat lost 0.1% at $5.06-1/2 a bushel.
In its weekly crop progress report, the USDA said 22% of the corn crop has been harvested, behind market expectations.
The agency said 26% of soybean crop has been harvested, slightly ahead of market forecasts.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that China had agreed to purchase $40 billion to $50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods in a first phase of an agreement to end the trade war.
But China would make the purchases only if Trump rolls back levies put in place since the trade war began, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
China has already bought 20 million tonnes of soybeans from the United States, along with other products, spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing.
"The declines are likely to remain modest for U.S soybean prices," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "China's potential splurge on U.S. agricultural produce is waiting in the market's mental wings."
The National Oilseed Processors Association said its members crushed 152.6 million bushels of soybeans in September, down 9% from August and below the lowest level in a range of trade expectations.
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
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