Grain futures higher, soybeans touch 10-week highs on increased demand for US supplies

Grain futures were mixed on Monday with soybeans reaching a 10-week high on increased demand for US supplies, while corn and wheat posted moderate losses.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybeans futures for settlement in January traded at $13.2313 per bushel at 15:14 GMT. Prices jumped to a day’s high of $13.4588 per bushel, the strongest level since September 19, while day’s low stood at $13.2138. The oilseed added 1.3% last week after gaining 3.1% in the preceding one.

The USDA reported that US more than tripled its soybeans exports during the week ended November 21st, compared to the same period a year earlier. The amount of exports reached 1.4 million metric tons of soybeans. Sales and shipments in the marketing year that started on September 1 already totaled 36.79 million tons, or 93% of what the USDA expects to be exported during the full season.

Dave Norris, an independent grain broker in Harrogate, England, said today, cited by Bloomberg: “China may be booking more U.S. soybeans on concern Brazil’s record harvest will be delayed in early 2014 by shipping backlogs. All this export business from China has been crammed into the front end of the marketing year. Obviously if they’ve got these huge crops coming from South America they may have the same logistical problems again. Even bigger crops suggest even bigger logistical problems, which will cause transport disruptions.”

The USDA reported daily U.S. sales of soybeans topped 100,000 tons each on four out of five days last week. Purchases came from China and also from unknown buyers. The US, which is the world’s second biggest exporter, may ship 39.5 million tons in the 2013-14 season, the USDA forecast on November 8th.

According to a report by the USDA, Brazil, the top soybean exporter, is projected to harvest 88 million tons, or 7.3% more than the past season’s record crop. After the last harvest, vessels at the country’s main ports had to wait more than a month to load soybeans, Santos, Brazil-based SA Commodities reported in March.

Prices however were pressured by outlook for continuing suitable weather across South America. DTN reported on Friday that in Brazil scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected in the southern part of the country, which will disrupt any remaining planting, but will recharge soil moisture, favoring developing crops. According to the same website, favorable conditions in Argentina will continue. The expected dry weather during the next five days will help planting, which is slightly behind schedule.

Meanwhile, corn for delivery in March traded at $4.1863 per bushel at 15:37 GMT, down 1.40% on the day. Futures held in range between day’s high of $4.2488 and $4.1862 per bushel.

Wheat

Elsewhere on the grains market, wheat futures for settlement in March declined by 1.10% to $6.6138 per bushel by 15:45 GMT. Prices jumped to a session high of $6.7462, while day’s low was touched at $6.6138 per bushel. The grain gained nearly 3% last week after it added 0.8% in the previous five-day period.

DTN reported that mild and dry weather is expected during the next five days in the Southern Plains crop areas. Later next week, a colder temperature trend is anticipated, bringing rain and probably snow. Winter wheat is probably well established through the region at this time. In the Delta, dry conditions during the next five days will favor any remaining harvest and winter wheat planting. Wet weather is going to develop during the second half of next week.

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