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CANBERRA: Chicago soyabean futures retreated on Thursday from a 2-1/2-month high reached in the previous session as an improving weather outlook in major South American exporters eased supply concerns. Corn prices inched higher despite the forecast rains in Brazil and Argentina, both major agricultural exporters. Wheat futures fell amid plentiful supply.

The most-active soyabean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.1% at $13.84-1/4 a bushel by 0122 GMT, after touching $13.98-1/2, the highest since Aug. 30, on Wednesday. CBOT corn rose 0.2% to $4.71-1/2 a bushel and wheat fell 0.2% to $5.59-1/2 a bushel. Soyabeans have rallied 11% from a mid-October low as hot, dry weather in key cropping areas of Brazil, the world’s biggest soyabean exporter, disrupted planting, but rain is forecast in those regions next week and global supply remains plentiful.

Analysts at Rabobank said they expect “a bumper 163 million metric ton crop haul” in Brazil in 2024 and that Argentina, the biggest exporter of soya products, should recover after last year’s harvest failure, boosting global stockpiles.

Argentina’s agricultural core saw a much higher-than-average rainfall during the first half of November and will likely see even more moisture in the coming days, the Rosario grains exchange (BCR) said. Argentina is a large shipper of wheat. Soyabeans have also been supported by strong demand in the United States. US soyabean processors crushed a record amount of soyabeans in October and end-of-month soyaoil stocks fell to the lowest in almost nine years, National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data showed.

The US government has also reported large sales of US soyabeans to China this month, and traders are watching for news from a meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. China is the world’s top soyabean importer.

Moving to wheat, FranceAgriMer raised its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the EU in 2023/24 to 10.1 million metric tons and also lifted its season-end stocks estimate to six-year high, pressuring local prices. Ukraine’s state railway company said it had restricted grain deliveries to Odesa, a key Black Sea port, due to repairs. It did not say when the restrictions would be lifted.

Rabobank said it expects a fifth consecutive global wheat deficit next year, with Argentina’s crop underperforming and Australia delivering much less than in recent years. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT soyabeans, soyameal, wheat and corn futures on Wednesday and net buyers of soyaoil, traders said. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to issue a weekly report on US export sales at 0730 am CST (1330 GMT) on Thursday.

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