Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Soybeans Top $14 Again As Tightening US Supplies, Chinese Demand Support Crop

Soybean futures topped $14 again on Tuesday as investors are hopeful of fresh demand for US supplies. The agricultural commodity has benefited from delays in Brazilian exports, prompting bullish forecasts for strengthening demand for tightening US inventories. Are $15 soybeans the next target?

May soybean futures surged $0.14, or 1.01%, to $14.0525 per bushel at 14:49 GMT on Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Despite a sluggish start to the new trading week and month, soybean prices are looking to build on their 8% year-to-date gain.

Brazil’s loss is America’s gain?

The South American country is experiencing a delay in exports amid a slow soybean harvest amid unfriendly weather conditions. This is leading to expectations that foreign markets, particularly China, will lean on the US for soybean consumption.

And this is what is driving prices. The US soybean market is witnessing a greater tightening of its inventories. While the blast of wintry weather largely unaffected output, soaring foreign demand has put pressure on domestic crops over the last several months. It is also being predicted by Reuters analysts that there will be fewer soybean planting areas in the coming months.

Matt Ammermann, StoneX commodity risk manager, told Reuters:

Brazil’s harvest is not as rapid as hoped which could transfer Chinese buying to other regions if issues arise, while Chinese soybean futures rose strongly today with the thought that Chinese farmers want to plant more corn.

As the new month starts, I think there is reflection in the market that U.S. soybean supplies remain tight and there are not a lot of inventories available in the U.S. to meet Chinese demand.

Could these conditions impact Chinese buying? Li Guoxiang, a research fellow on agriculture at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times, that the current fluctuations in the soybean futures market do not showcase the current supply and demand situation in the Chinese market.

As the China-US relationship gradually sees signs of improving, we expect that US soybeans will also see rising orders from China.

Zhao Xiangyu, chairman of Heilongjiang Province-based Liangtai Agriculture Co, said in an interview with the publication that Chinese soybean imports will climb this year. In 2020, soybean imports topped 100 million tons, advancing more than 13% from the previous year.

In other agricultural commodities, April corn futures jumped $0.0375, or 0.7%, to $5.42 per pound. April wheat futures rallied $0.13, or 2.00%, to $6.6325 per bushel. April coffee futures tumbled $0.0245, or 1.8%, to $1.3335 a pound.

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Published under: Soybean

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