U.S. grains: Soybeans rise on export sales, soymeal gains

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures were narrowly higher on Thursday, reaching two-month peaks as they extended gains on the back of big export sales to China and as soymeal futures surged two per cent.

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures rose for the third straight session, while wheat futures were mostly higher, with many agriculture commodities climbing on technical and investment fund buying despite abundant global grain supplies.

Thinly traded Chicago Board of Trade oats futures soared seven per cent for their biggest gains since May.

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Heavy unwinding of soymeal-soyoil spreads remained a dominant theme, with weakening palm oil prices dragging down soyoil futures and prompting traders to buy back short soymeal positions.

“Bean oil and palm seem to have temporarily run out of positive news, and so you set off some profit-taking in meal,” Agrivisor LLC analyst Dale Durchholz said.

Rising soymeal prices boost profit margins for processors, potentially increasing demand for soybeans to crush.

CBOT November soybeans settled 4-1/4 cents higher at $10.14-1/4 per bushel, after earlier reaching the highest levels since Aug. 22 (all figures US$). CBOT December soymeal was up $8.50, to $327.60 per ton, also the highest since late August, while December soyoil eased 0.61 cent to 35.11 cents/lb.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said exporters within the past 24 hours sold 396,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China and 129,000 tonnes to unknown destinations. The announcement followed earlier weekly U.S. soybean export data showing 2.045 million tonnes of soybeans sold last week.

CBOT December corn settled 3-1/2 cents higher at $3.57-1/2 per bushel, extending gains after surpassing its 100-day moving average. CBOT December wheat was three cents higher at $4.14-1/2 per bushel.

The International Grains Council raised its forecast for the 2016-17 world corn crop to a record-high 1.035 billion tonnes, boosted by upward adjustments for the U.S., Argentina and India. The intergovernmental body, in a monthly report, also increased its forecasts for wheat and total grains to record levels, with global stocks expected to climb.

Michael Hirtzer reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Colin Packham in Sydney and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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