imageCHICAGO: Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures edged higher on Friday after the US Department of Agriculture estimated quarterly stocks below trade expectations, although gains were limited by forecasts for a record-large US harvest.

CBOT November soybeans settled up 3-3/4 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $9.54 per bushel. The front-month contract was down 0.6 percent for the month, its third straight monthly drop. Its 18.8 percent quarterly decline was the steepest in two years.

The USDA on Friday said soybean stocks on Sept. 1 totaled 197 million bushels, a five-year high for the date but below analysts' average estimate of 201 million.

Export demand for US soybeans remained strong, but US harvest reports of well-above-average yields capped gains in soybean prices, traders said.

The USDA said private exporters sold a total of 316,000 tonnes of US soybeans in the last day, including 118,000 tonnes to China and 198,000 tonnes to unknown destinations, all for 2016/17 delivery. It was the eighth daily soybean sales announcement in nine days.

The CBOT reported 150 October soymeal deliveries on first notice day, above trade expectations for zero to 100 lots, and 22 soyoil deliveries, below trade expectations for 300 to 800 lots.

Copyright Reuters, 2016