Soybeans Extend Gains, Hit One-Week High On Chinese Buying
Chicago soybean futures climbed for a second session to a one-week high on Friday as Chinese demand underpinned prices, although the oilseed is on course for a small weekly decline due to concerns about the state of US-China relations.
“Chinese buying is supporting prices, but more is needed to sustain these prices and the geo-political situation between the two countries is not conducive," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.
Wheat was down slightly, pressured by concerns over the coronavirus crisis hitting world demand, but adverse US weather conditions supported prices.
Soybeans were up 0.6% at $8.49 a bushel as of 1027 GMT, near the session high of 8.50 a bushel - the highest since 1 May.
Wheat was down 0.4% at $5.20-1/2 a bushel. Corn was up 0.4%.
Tensions have flared up between Washington and Beijing over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, raising fears of an escalation in the trade war between the two economic giants.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is scheduled to release its latest supply-and-demand report next week.
The report is expected to show stocks of wheat, corn and soybeans remained ample.
The USDA on Thursday confirmed private sales of 686,000 tonnes of US corn to China for shipment in the current and upcoming marketing years.
That followed several daily soybean sales announcements in recent days.
Global Wheat Demand
Global wheat demand is likely to take a hit as the coronavirus outbreak curbs travel, reducing sales at restaurants and bakeries around the world.
Still, worries about US weather limited losses. "Frosts and freezes are expected in the Midwest this weekend, raising the
concern for early planted crops and emerged wheat," brokerage Allendale said in a note.
The cold weather expected in the US Midwest could threaten newly planted corn crops and developing soft-red winter wheat, according to meteorologists.
Rain in the past week across Europe has averted significant damage to wheat, but regular rainfall is needed to stave off drought as crops go through key spring growth stages, analysts and traders said.
Weekly USDA export sales data released early on Thursday showed corn, soybean and wheat net export sales largely in line with trade expectations.
Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean, soyoil and soymeal futures on Thursday, traders said.