U.S. grains: Soy climbs on Asian oilseed strength, export data

(Keith Weller photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures climbed more than two per cent on Monday and set a three-week high, led by strength in Asian oilseed markets and stronger-than-expected weekly export data, analysts said.

Corn and wheat futures were also higher but trailed the advances in soybeans.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans settled up 26-1/2 cents at $10.20-1/4 per bushel (all figures US$). December corn ended up 4-1/4 cents at $3.49-3/4 a bushel and December wheat rose 2-1/4 cents at $4.10-1/4.

Soybeans got an early boost from strength in soy futures on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange and in Malaysian palm oil futures.

“It’s a combination of strength in palm oil, Dalian soymeal futures, crude oil futures, maybe a little bit of weather talk of one area in central Brazil that has trended dry just this month,” said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis.

Additional support stemmed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reporting export inspections of U.S. soybeans in the latest week at more than 2.6 million tonnes, topping a range of trade expectations for 1.7 million to two million tonnes.

Commodity funds appeared to be jumping back into soybeans after the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s latest weekly commitments report showed that large speculators slashed their net long position in the week to Nov. 15 to 85,682 contracts, a drop of nearly 30,000 lots.

“It’s spec-type buying. The longer-term fund traders want to be long in the soy complex overall, despite the fact we have such huge ending stocks,” said Brian Hoops, president of brokerage Midwest Market Solutions.

A pause in the dollar’s rally lent support to the broader commodities sector. The U.S. dollar index eased from last week’s 13-1/2-year high as Treasury yields nudged lower, bolstering oil, copper and gold.

Corn followed the firm trend, although ample supplies of the grain in the United States and globally kept a lid on rallies.

CBOT December corn reached $3.50 per bushel, its highest level since Nov. 9. Analysts noted heavy open interest in put and call options at the $3.50 strike, which appeared to act as a magnet for December futures ahead of Friday’s expiration of CBOT December options.

Wheat drew support from expectations of reduced U.S. plantings and risks to crops from dry weather.

After the CBOT close, USDA rated 58 per cent of the U.S. winter wheat crop as good to excellent, down from 59 per cent the previous week.

Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham in Sydney and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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