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Markets

Prices hold firm on global demand

  • CBOT soybeans up for 5th session in recovery from 2021 low
  • Rally in veg oils, east Midwest harvest delays support soybeans
  • Wheat, corn also firm near one-week highs
Published October 20, 2021
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PARIS/SINGAPORE: Chicago soybean, corn and wheat futures extended gains on Wednesday to hold near one-week highs, supported by brisk global demand and slow-moving harvests in some major production zones.

Record highs for palm oil futures lent support to oilseeds including soybeans.

Slow-moving soybean harvesting in part of the US Midwest and rain-delayed corn harvests across Europe and in China were also underpinning grain futures.

A recent rally in crude oil has also fuelled demand for crop-based biofuel and traders were awaiting weekly US Energy Information Administration figures later on Wednesday for an update on biofuel.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.7% at $12.37 a bushel by 1143 GMT.

It was trading near Tuesday's one-week peak of $12.39-1/4 as it recovered from a 2021 low struck last week.

Soybeans steady after slide as Chinese demand in focus

CBOT wheat added 0.7% to $7.40-3/4 a bushel and corn was up 0.6% at $5.33-1/2 a bushel.

"There is more upside potential in prices, given the gains in the crude oil market and overall consumption," said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank in Melbourne.

Rising mineral oil prices and expectations of increased US renewable energy targets under President Joe Biden have stoked demand for corn-based ethanol and biodiesel using vegetable oil.

After a lull in recent months, Chinese demand for US soybeans is expected to pick up as newly harvested Midwest supplies become available.

The US soybean harvest was 60% complete by Sunday, ahead of the five-year national average of 55%, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said. But progress was slower than normal in Illinois, the top US soy state, as well as in Indiana and Ohio.

The US corn crop was 52% harvested, the USDA said, ahead of the five-year average of 41% but behind the average analyst expectation of 54%.

Constant rains in recent weeks have slowed wheat planting and autumn harvesting, including for corn, in China, a government official said on Wednesday.

Slow arrival of corn crops has also bolstered short-term use of wheat in animal feed, in addition to strong milling demand for wheat, according to traders.

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