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GRAINS-Soybeans rally over 2 pct on export demand, firm soymeal

Karl Plume
Friday, 22 Nov 2013 | 3:35 PM ET

* Strong exports, firmer soymeal support soybeans

* Wheat up amid supply worry, corn flat on profit-taking

(Updates with closing prices, fund buying totals, weekly performance) CHICAGO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rallied more than 2 percent on Friday on firm cash markets, good export demand and spillover strength from higher soymeal futures, which surged more than 4 percent. Wheat futures edged higher for a second straight day, aiming for the first weekly gain in a month, amid concerns about crops in key exporting countries in the southern hemisphere. Corn touched a one-week high on strong demand but later slipped on light profit-taking, with prices anchored by ample U.S. supplies following a record-large harvest. The U.S. soybean harvest was also massive, estimated to be the third largest ever. The government's export forecast, already the largest in three years, was likely to increase further after strong early season sales, largely to top-importer China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a monthly report on Nov. 8, forecast U.S. soybean exports in the 2013/14 marketing year at 1.45 billion bushels. Sales in the marketing year to date are already at 90 percent of that forecast, versus only 74 percent at the same point a year ago. "The trade has realized that USDA will have to increase its export forecast in the next report. Realistically they might go up 25 million bushels in the December report and maybe a little further in the January report," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Allendale Inc. "We still have a good deal of export demand to fill for that January-through-March time frame." USDA confirmed on Friday private sales of 115,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China. That followed a weekly USDA report on Thursday that showed soybean sales last week well above expectations at nearly 1.4 million tonnes. Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans added 28 cents to $13.19-1/2 a bushel, a 2.2 percent gain that was the strongest in two weeks. Soybeans notched a two-month high of $13.22 during the session and gained 3 percent on the week, the second weekly gain in three weeks. December soymeal futures soared $16.80, or 4.1 percent, to $427.80 per ton. CBOT December corn shed 3/4 cent on Friday to close at $4.22-1/4 a bushel but ended the week up 1/4 cent. Although small, the weekly rise was the first in five weeks. Commodity funds bought an estimated net 10,000 soybean contracts on the day as well as a net 6,000 soymeal contracts and 3,000 corn contracts. CBOT December wheat added 3/4 cents to $6.49-1/2 a bushel for a 0.8 percent weekly gain. Wheat remained supported by worries about a reduced crop and lower quality in No. 2 exporter Australia, where rains have hampered harvesting. Concern about a smaller-than-anticipated Argentine crop, which could bolster U.S. exports, also supported prices.

Prices at 2:20 p.m. CST (2020 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG CBOT corn 422.25 -0.75 -0.2% -39.5% CBOT soy 1319.50 28.00 2.2% -7.0% CBOT meal 427.80 16.80 4.1% 1.7% CBOT soyoil 41.16 -0.38 -0.9% -16.3% CBOT wheat 649.50 0.75 0.1% -16.5% CBOT rice 1571.50 -9.50 -0.6% 5.8% EU wheat 206.25 -0.50 -0.2% -17.6% US crude 94.83 -0.61 -0.6% 3.3% Dow Jones 16,054 44 0.3% 22.5% Gold 1243.14 0.79 0.1% -25.8% Euro/dollar 1.3547 0.0065 0.5% 2.7% Dollar Index 80.7200 -0.3530 -0.4% 1.2%

* CBOT futures prices are in cents per bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne, WTI crude oil in dollars per barrel.

(Editing by Krista Hughes, Jim Marshall and Peter Galloway)