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Soybean futures hit four-year peak on Chinese demand

10/26/2020 | 01:27pm EST

* Soybeans rise for 6th consecutive session

* USDA reports U.S. soybean, soymeal export sales

* Traders await weekly USDA crop progress report

CHICAGO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures set their highest price in more than four years on Monday, rising for a sixth consecutive session on the back of strong Chinese demand.

Corn futures retreated from a 14-month peak hit on Friday, while wheat tumbled after sharp gains in the previous session.

Traders are keeping a close eye on demand from China because Chinese importers have recently increased purchases of U.S. agricultural products. The purchases help fulfil commitments made during an initial trade deal the two countries signed in January.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday reported that exporters struck separate deals to sell 120,700 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown buyers and 135,000 tonnes of U.S. soymeal to the Philippines.

Yet rains in Brazil, the world's top soybean supplier, limited gains in soybean futures, brokers said.

"It is going to take some South American weather problem or continued Chinese export demand to sustain the rally in the soybean market," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage in Iowa.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 5 cents at $10.88-3/4 a bushel by 1:14 p.m. CDT (1814 GMT), after hitting a session peak of $10.89-3/4 a bushel - the highest since July 2016.

Corn slipped 1/2-cent to $4.18-3/4 a bushel, having climbed to its highest since August 2019 on Friday. Wheat fell 10 cents to $6.22-3/4 a bushel at the CBOT, after jumping 1.6% in the previous session.

Rain and snow in the U.S. Plains eased worries about unfavorably dry planting conditions for wheat, traders said.

The USDA, in a weekly report due at 3 p.m. CDT on Monday, is expected to peg U.S. winter wheat planting as 86% complete, up from 77% as of Oct. 18, according to a Reuters poll of analysts. USDA is expected to report the U.S. corn harvest as 73% complete and the soybean harvest as 86% complete.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de la Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Bernadette Baum)

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -1.35% 420 End-of-day quote.8.32%
EURO / BRAZILIAN REAL (EUR/BRL) 0.14% 6.3492 Delayed Quote.40.67%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.08% 398 End-of-day quote.32.81%
SOYBEAN OIL FUTURES (ZL) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.37% 38.2 End-of-day quote.10.70%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -3.76% 588.25 End-of-day quote.5.28%
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