U.S. grains: Soy jumps on vegetable oils’ gains

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures climbed to a two-month high on Monday on brisk U.S. exports and rising prices for vegetable oils.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat fell more than two per cent and corn futures one per cent, weighed down by spread trading tied to abundant global grain supplies and a firm dollar that made U.S. commodities more expensive in international markets.

CBOT November soybeans finished up nine cents at $9.92 per bushel, after hitting a high of $9.99-3/4 (all figures US$). Soyoil futures gained two per cent and canola futures one per cent.

Malaysian palm oil closed up three per cent at the highest levels in more than two years as Asian veg oil supplies declined.

“Port stocks of palm in China are low,” said Kelvin Chow, an analyst with Rabobank in Singapore, putting them at 338,000 tonnes compared with a five-year average of 645,000 tonnes for the end-October period.

Higher U.S. soy prices came despite a record-large soybean harvest and as grain prices fell sharply.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture after the close of trading said the soybean harvest was 76 per cent complete and the corn harvest 61 per cent done, each in line with pre-report estimates and their five-year average progress.

“I think it is a bean oil day, still. We had soybean spreading against grains,” said Futures International analyst Terry Reilly. “There is not that much bullish news in the grains.”

CBOT December wheat fell 12 cents, or 2.7 per cent, to $4.02-1/2 per bushel, notching their largest daily losses in about two months. Some traders were selling the front-month contract and buying deferred contracts.

CBOT December corn was down 4-1/4 cents to a one-week low of $3.48-1/4 per bushel, pressured by the U.S. harvest and losses in wheat.

USDA said 2.7 million tonnes of soybeans were inspected for export in the week ended Oct. 20, compared with 541,527 tonnes of corn and 244,331 tonnes of wheat. The soybean shipments were above the high end of analysts’ expectations.

Demand for U.S. wheat was limited. Wheat prices in Russia gained for the sixth straight week, prompted by recent purchases of Russian wheat by top importer Egypt.

Michael Hirtzer reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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