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Soybean futures hit four-year peak on Chinese demand

10/26/2020 | 03:51pm EST

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

* U.S. winter wheat crop rating misses estimates

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 strong Chinese demand.

Corn futures retreated from a 14-month peak hit on Friday, while wheat futures tumbled as global crop weather improved.

Traders are keeping a close eye on China's demand because the world's top soybean importer recently increased purchases of U.S. agricultural products. The purchases help fulfill commitments Beijing made during an initial trade deal the two countries signed in January.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Monday 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 ended up 4 cents at $10.87-3/4 a bushel and reached a session high of $10.89-3/4, its highest price since July 2016.

Corn slipped 1-1/2 cents to $4.17-3/4 a bushel, having climbed to its highest since August 2019 on Friday. Wheat fell 12-3/4 cents to $6.20 a bushel.

Weather conditions have improved for Russia's 2021 wheat crop after it rained in several regions last week, according to agriculture consultancy Sovecon.

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

The USDA, in a weekly report on Monday, said 41% of U.S. winter wheat was in good or excellent condition, below analysts' average expectation for 52%.

The USDA said 85% of U.S. winter wheat was planted, 72% of corn was harvested and 83% of soybeans were harvested.

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

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -1.19% 419 End-of-day quote.6.96%
EURO / BRAZILIAN REAL (EUR/BRL) 0.38% 6.3307 Delayed Quote.41.18%
SOYBEAN MEAL FUTURES (ZM) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.23% 394 End-of-day quote.31.08%
SOYBEAN OIL FUTURES (ZL) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -1.08% 37.47 End-of-day quote.8.44%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -2.54% 578 End-of-day quote.1.21%
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