SINGAPORE - Chicago soybean futures gained more ground on Monday, with prices hitting a 16-month peak, as progress in U.S.-China trade talks underpinned the market.
Corn hit a two-month peak, while wheat rose to its highest since mid-July.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) jumped to its highest since June 2018 at $9.46 a bushel.
Corn rose to its highest since Aug. 12 at $4.02-1/2 a bushel and wheat touched $5.14-3/4 a bushel, the highest since July 19.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday outlined the first phase of a deal to end a trade war with China and suspended a threatened tariff hike, but officials on both sides said much more work needed to be done before an accord could be agreed.
The emerging deal, covering agriculture, currency and some aspects of intellectual property protections, would represent the biggest step by the two countries in 15 months to end a tit-for-tat tariff war that has whipsawed financial markets and slowed global growth.
"In our view it confirms that both the U.S. and China want a deal, a significant development," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "But the accord is also another stage in the negotiations. So, we are still some way from smiles and bro hugs."
Soybeans, the largest U.S. crop export to China, have been supported by purchases from China in the run-up to the latest round of trade talks, including a 398,000-tonne sale reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday.
The market continues to monitor a winter storm bringing blizzard conditions to parts of the Dakotas. Freezing temperatures were expected for Minnesota and Iowa this weekend.
Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to Oct. 8, regulatory data released on Friday showed.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and trimmed their net short position in soybeans.
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Subhranshu Sahu)
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