U.S. soybeans close moderately higher as China books more

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Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybeans and grains closed moderately higher on Monday, as U.S. exporters reported more soybean sales to China.

Participants in U.S. agricultural markets have been upbeat in the past two sessions, after progress was reportedly made during the high-level U.S.-China trade talks held last week in Washington.

On Monday morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that private exporters reported sales of 612,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2018/2019 marketing year.

CBOT soybean prices got a boost from the new booking from China. However, U.S. soybean export pace was still well below the previous official forecast, said market watchers, based on the U.S. weekly export inspections report for the week ending Jan. 31.

The week-long Lunar New Year holiday in China also curbed the rise of CBOT soybean futures.

At the end of the session, the most active March soybeans were up 0.75 cent, or 0.08 percent, to close at 9.185 dollars per bushel. Corn contract for March delivery was up 1 cent, or 0.26 percent to settle at 3.7925 dollars per bushel. March wheat was up 1.5 cents, or 0.29 percent, to close at 5.2575 dollars.

CBOT brokers estimated that funds on Monday bought 3,200 contracts of soybeans, 1,200 contracts of corn while being flat in wheat. 

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