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Soybeans at 10-Month High as Record Crush Erodes U.S. Supplies

April 17, 2014
soybean closeup

Soybeans extended their climb to the highest level in more than 10 months after a report showed record demand from U.S. mills, boosting concern that supplies from the world’s second-biggest exporter would be reduced.

Soybeans for July delivery rose as much as 0.8 percent to $15.2025 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest price for a most-active contract since June 6. Futures were at $15.155 by 6:53 a.m. local time, rising for a fourth day and taking this year’s increase to 17 percent.

Processors crushed 153.84 million bushels in March, up 12 percent from a year earlier and the most for the month since at least 1998, the National Oilseed Processors Association reported April 15. Domestic stockpiles at the end of August will be 135 million bushels, less than the 145 million bushels forecast in March and below 141 million last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week.

Soybean prices are "supported by worsening tightness in U.S. soybean supplies," Luke Mathews, a commodity Strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note today. Slightly better-than-expected Chinese economic data has also supported "improved sentiment within the oilseed market and helped traders turn a blind eye to recent reports of Chinese soybean cancellations" and defaults, he said.

Importers in China, the biggest buyer, may default on as much as 2 million metric tons of shipments, according to the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s Beijing office. The country’s gross domestic product rose 7.4 percent in the first quarter, government data showed yesterday. The median estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey was 7.3 percent.


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