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Soybeans rise on vegetable oil rally; corn consolidates

  • Soybeans extend gains into fourth session.
  • Range-bound corn market eyes US planting estimates.
  • Wheat falls as Northern Hemisphere weather weighs.
Published March 24, 2021
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PARIS/CANBERRA: Chicago soybean futures edged up for a fourth straight session on Wednesday as investors adjusted to tensions in vegetable oil markets while looking ahead to US planting data next week.

Corn inched down as traders awaited the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) planting estimates and continued to assess mixed crop conditions in South America.

Wheat eased as generally favourable growing conditions in the Northern Hemisphere hung over the market.

The price of the most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.2% at $14.26 a bushel by 1238 GMT, trading close to near a two-week high touched on Tuesday.

After soybeans rose to multi-year highs in recent weeks on the back of high Chinese demand and dwindling US stocks, prices got renewed support this week from the edible oil rally, in turn linked to tight supply of oils and expectations of more US biofuel demand under President Joe Biden.

The oils rally paused on Wednesday but CBOT futures in soymeal - another by-product of soybeans - were firm.

"Soybeans continue to benefit from strong international demand and the rise in vegetable oils. This allows crushers to continue to post positive margins, despite the rise in seed prices," consultancy Agritel said in a note.

The vegetable oil tensions have helped counter pressure from the arrival of Brazil's rain-delayed soybean harvest, and improving moisture levels for developing crops in Argentina.

CBOT corn was 0.3% lower at $5.49-1/2 a bushel.

The corn market was weighing up the risk of drier conditions affecting Brazil's late planted second-crop against beneficial rains in Argentina.

Traders were assessing private forecasts of a big US corn area ahead of the USDA's March 31 estimates.

The market was also watching for further exports to China after sales of nearly 4 million tonnes were confirmed by the USDA last week.

CBOT wheat was down 1.0% at $6.28-1/2 a bushel, as a rebound on Tuesday petered out.

Rains in the US Plains have improved winter wheat crop ratings this month, according to USDA data.

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