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Markets

Soybeans above $10/bushel for first time in 2 years on Chinese demand

  • US cuts corn, soybean harvest outlook after August weather.
  • Strong Chinese demand to support corn, soybean futures.
14 Sep 2020

SINGAPORE/PARIS: Chicago soybean prices gained for a second consecutive session on Monday, rising above $10 a bushel for the first time in more than two years as Chinese buying and a lower US production estimate supported prices.

Corn jumped to its highest since mid-March while wheat ticked higher.

On Friday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a monthly report that US corn and soybean production would be lower than previously expected because of unfavourable weather last month.

"US crop outlook is bullish for corn and soybean prices," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. "We have also seen strong demand from China."

The most active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) gained 0.4% at $10.00-1/4 a bushel by 1044 GMT after rising to as much as $10.08-3/4 a bushel in earlier trade.

It was the first time that the most active soybean contract topped $10 since June 6, 2018.

Corn added 0.4% to $3.70 a bushel, near the session high of $3.71 a bushel, its highest since March 13.

Wheat was up 0.1% at $5.42-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 1.1% on Friday.

Chinese demand for US corn and soybeans remained strong in the latest week, USDA data showed, and traders expect the US government to boost its export forecast for both commodities due to the recent surge of deals.

In a report released on Friday, it showed that export sales of soybeans to China totalled 1.608 million tonnes in the week ended Sept. 3, the latest reporting period. Weekly corn export sales to China were 1.137 million tonnes.

Ukraine has exported 9.2 million tonnes of grain so far in the July 2020-June 2021 season compared to 10.3 million tonnes at the same point during the previous season, the economy ministry said on Friday.

Large speculators trimmed their net short position in CBOT corn futures in the week to Sept. 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, switched to a net short position in CBOT wheat and raised their net long position in soybeans.