U.S. grains: Soybeans firm on export demand, record crush

Rising energy, equities markets give grains additional lift

CBOT January 2021 soybeans with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose for a second straight session on Monday, holding near a more than four-year high hit last week, on strong demand from top buyer China and data showing the U.S. soy crush pace hit an all-time high last month.

The strong demand stoked worries about thinning supplies of the oilseed following a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report last week that forecast the tightest end-of-season supply in seven years.

Corn firmed on strong export demand prospects, particularly from Chinese importers. Wheat followed corn and soybeans higher.

Rising energy and equities markets, following promising news about another COVID-19 vaccine, offered grains additional support.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) January soybeans were up 5-1/2 cents at $11.53-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$). December corn was up 5-3/4 cents at $4.16-1/4 a bushel, while CBOT December wheat gained 4-1/2 cents to end at $5.98 a bushel.

“For soybeans, it’s not only the crush that’s strong, it’s the exports too. The market continues to try to move high enough to slow down the demand,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.

After USDA cut its U.S. soybean ending-stocks estimate last week to a seven-year low of 190 million bushels, “that doesn’t leave much room for error,” Roose said.

Soybean exports remain robust as USDA reported more than 2.2 million tonnes inspected for export last week, about three quarters of it bound for China. Nearly 815,000 tonnes of yellow corn were also inspected for export, including almost 280,000 tonnes destined for China.

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) on Monday reported the U.S. October soy crush at a record-high 185.245 million bushels, topping all trade estimates.

Better-than-expected rains in Argentina and parts of Brazil capped gains in corn and soybeans following early season worries that dry conditions would limit crops.

— Reporting for Reuters by Karl Plume in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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