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SINGAPORE: Chicago soybean futures rose on Monday, recovering from two-week lows as strong Chinese demand underpinned prices, although expectations of rains in Brazil’s dry oilseed growing areas limited the upside.

Corn and wheat futures edged higher.

“The beans complex is being supported by reports of dryness in Brazil, although prices have set back to a small extent with expected showers,” said Pranav Bajoria, a director at Singapore-based commodities brokerage Comglobal.

“A choppy weather market is expected to continue.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) climbed 0.7% to $13.50 a bushel as of 0329 GMT, after dropping to the lowest since Nov. 3 at $13.27 earlier in the session.

Corn rose 0.3% to $4.68-1/2 a bushel and wheat gained 0.2% at $5.76-3/4 a bushel. China, the world’s biggest soybean importer, has stepped up purchases of US beans.

In the week ended Nov. 9, US exporters sold 3.92 million metric tons of soybeans for shipment in 2023-24, which began on Sept. 1.

This was the largest-ever single-week, single-marketing-year volume, trouncing the prior high of 3.19 million tons set in September 2020.

Elsewhere, forecasts of rains in Brazil this week have eased concerns over dry weather slowing crop planting in the world’s top exporter.

Prices have pulled back after reaching the highest since August last week. Showers this week will briefly ease stress from heat and dryness in the northern 40% of Brazil’s soybean area, Commodity Weather Group said.

Northern Brazil is then expected to dry out again, the firm said.

Chicago soybean futures down

However, the extreme dryness is forcing farmers to give up on soybeans to plant cotton or another crop in Brazil’s top farm state Mato Grosso, cotton lobby groups and growers said.

In France, winter grain sowings had made little progress and crop ratings fell last week, farm office FranceAgriMer data showed on Friday, in a sign that heavy rainfall took a toll on crops in the European Union’s biggest grain grower.

French farmers had sown 71% of the expected soft wheat area for next year’s harvest by Nov. 13, compared with 67% a week earlier and 96% by the same time last year, the office said in a crop report.

Some 151 ships have used Ukraine’s new Black Sea shipping corridor since it was set up in August, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported on Friday, citing a senior government official.

Meanwhile, speculators ramped up their enthusiasm for Chicago soybeans and soymeal as crop concerns for Brazil and a tight US meal market have been raiding the headlines.

In the week ended Nov. 14, money managers extended their net long in CBOT soybean futures and options to an 11-week high of 87,913 contracts from 68,598 a week earlier, predominantly on new gross longs.

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