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CHICAGO: Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures closed higher on Friday on hopes for increased US export demand, analysts said. CBOT July soybean futures finished up 32-3/4 cents at $16.46-1/2 a bushel. BOT July soyoil ended up 1.27 cents at 83.79 cents per lb, while CBOT July soymeal futures increased $13.30 to end at $409.30 per ton.

Hopes for increased US soybean sales to China, the world’s biggest importer of the oilseed, helped fuel gains, analysts said. The US Department of Agriculture confirmed exporters sold 132,000 tonnes of US old-crop soybeans to China.

China will sell 500,000 tonnes of imported soybeans from state reserves on May 20, the national grain trade centre said. The country has been releasing soybeans from its reserves in weekly auctions in an effort to boost supplies in the domestic market and cool down prices. Gains in crude oil and equities helped support CBOT soy, traders said.

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