U.S. grains: Soy hits one-month high on soymeal gains, NOPA data


Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybeans climbed to a one-month peak on Tuesday, lifted by a three per cent spike in soymeal futures and data showing near-record domestic crushings of the beans in January, traders said.

Wheat futures were mixed, with some contracts turning lower after earlier hitting three-week highs on a short-covering bounce. Corn was narrowly higher in thin volume on the first trading day of the week following the U.S. Presidents Day holiday.

Soymeal futures posted the largest gains at the Chicago Board of Trade. Some investors were buying soymeal and selling soyoil futures, with the spread trade active ahead of the National Oilseed Processors Association’s monthly release.

The NOPA data, released at 11 a.m. CT, showed the U.S. soybean crush at 162.675 million bushels in January, just below the average analyst estimate but the biggest ever for the month.

CBOT March soybeans gained 17-1/4 cents to $10.07-3/4 per bushel, with prices reaching new highs late in the session after breaching the psychological threshold and option strike price of $10, sparking additional buying (all figures US$).

“The action today was partly because the Chinese have February boats booked out of Brazil, and with the wet forecasts, some of the commercials are seriously considering switching to U.S. origin to make their landing time,” ED+F Man Capital analyst Charlie Sernatinger said in a note to clients.

CBOT March wheat was up 1-3/4 cents at $5.34-3/4 per bushel after earlier trading as high as $5.48, while CBOT March corn was up 2-1/4 cents to $3.89-1/2, a roughly one-week peak. K.C. hard red winter wheat drifted lower.

CBOT wheat was bolstered by worries that bitter cold conditions could hamper portions of the dormant crop not protected by snow cover in the southern part of the U.S. Midwest.

“For the next two or three mornings, through Friday, there is going to be threats of 0 to -10 F below readings in those winter wheat areas,” said meteorologist Dan Hicks of Freese-Notis Weather in Iowa.

After the close, top global wheat importer Egypt announced a tender seeking U.S. wheat for delivery in April. The tender comes after the U.S. extended a credit line of $100 million to Egypt.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on grain markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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