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Soybeans gain on continued export expectations

  • CBOT corn added 1/4 cent to $5.50-1/4 per bushel, while wheat was 1-3/4 cents higher at $6.39-1/4 per bushel.
Published February 6, 2021

CHICAGO: U.S. soybean futures gained on Friday on expectations of continued export demand eating into already tight U.S. stocks.

Corn futures traded near even as traders assessed mixed crop prospects in South America, while wheat was unchanged, despite fears of winterkill across the U.S. Southern plains as frigid temperatures set in.

Price movements were limited ahead of next week's U.S. Department of Agriculture supply and demand report that is likely to confirm tightening stocks of soybeans and corn.

The most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade gained 7 cents to $13.79-1/2 per bushel by 11:16 a.m. (1716 GMT).

CBOT corn added 1/4 cent to $5.50-1/4 per bushel, while wheat was 1-3/4 cents higher at $6.39-1/4 per bushel.

Soybeans improved for a third day as traders positioned ahead of the Feb. 9 USDA report, bolstered by expectations of further exports to China.

"We've been quiet on the export front for a couple days, but people are thinking China will buy ahead of their New Year's holiday," said Joe Davis, director of commodity sales at Futures International.

The United States exported $28.75 billion of agricultural goods and related products to China in 2020, according to USDA data, missing the $36.5 billion targeted under the Phase 1 trade deal.

Despite trading near 6-1/2 year highs, soybeans could still rise to curb demand, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.

"We're using more than we should, highlighted by the fact that we've sold almost 97% of the soybeans for the year," he said.

Corn was little changed, despite daily export sales of 101,600 tonnes for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2020/2021 marketing year, according to the USDA.

Meanwhile, rain slowed Brazil's soybean harvest and subsequent second corn crop planting, but forecasters still expect bumper crops.

In Argentina, though, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange on Thursday cut its 2020/21 corn crop forecast by 1 million tonnes to 46 million tonnes, citing lower-than-expected yields caused by dry weather.

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