Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose about one per cent on Thursday, rallying on bargain buying after a two-week low set a day earlier and on uncertainty about South American crop prospects, traders said.
Soybeans also drew support from strength in soybean oil futures, which advanced about two per cent on news of Indonesia hiking its crude palm oil levy, a move that could boost demand for Malaysian palm oil.
Corn futures rose but wheat declined as expectations of big crops in Canada, Australia and Russia eased global supply worries.
Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans settled up 15-1/4 cents at $11.68-1/4 per bushel, while January soyoil ended up 0.81 cent at 37.73 cents/lb. (all figures US$).
CBOT March corn ended up 2-3/4 cents at $4.26-1/2 a bushel and March wheat fell four cents to settle at $5.84-1/2 a bushel.
Soybean futures bounced after a three-session slide as the market awaited more information on South American crop prospects.
“There does seem to be more rain in some important crop areas in Brazil and Argentina,” Michael Magdovitz, commodity analyst at Rabobank, said. “But the moisture requirements are increasing for the crop, so the market is not going to feel comfortable.”
Consultancy Celeres on Thursday lowered its forecast of Brazil’s soybean crop to 129.5 million tonnes, from 133.95 million previously. However, earlier this week, two other firms, Datagro and StoneX, raised their Brazilian soy crop forecasts.
CBOT soyoil futures drew support from the rival palm oil market as well as a Statistics Canada report showing Canadian farmers produced the smallest canola crop in five years, at 18.7 million tonnes, down 4.5 per cent from last year and below trade expectations.
Soyoil competes in the global vegetable oil market with palm and canola oil.
Corn futures firmed on export optimism and unconfirmed talk of fresh corn sales to China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported export sales of U.S. corn in the week ended Nov. 26 at 1.371 million tonnes, in line with trade expectations for 800,000 to 1.6 million tonnes.
Wheat declined, weighed down in part by StatsCan projecting total 2020-21 Canadian wheat production at 35.2 million tonnes, the country’s biggest crop in seven years.
— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.