March soybeans were down 1 1/4 cents late in the overnight session. Palm oil futures in Malaysia are closed for the holiday, and so are China futures. Outside market forces look quiet as financial markets await employment data today. The market inched lower overnight after seeing a firm tone early, as a lack of fresh news from Egypt and quiet outside markets helped spark some light selling. Asian traders are on holiday, but there is growing concern that the jump in short-term import demand, such as what was seen for wheat, could spread to the palm and soybean oil markets if food security issues heighten further. Flooding in Malaysia and the port strike in Argentina has helped increase short-term demand for vegetable oils. India is tendering to buy 21,000 tonnes of palm oil and 1,500 tonnes of soybean oil for immediate delivery. Iraq is tendering for 32,000 tonnes of sunflower oil, and Bangladesh is tendering for 12,500 tonnes of soybean oil. Thailand is apparently planning to buy 120,000 tonnes of crude palm oil to ease domestic cooking oil shortage. The soybean market closed moderately lower on the session yesterday and near the lows of the day, as long liquidation selling emerged late in the day to pressure. The rally into the mid-session pushed the market to a new contract high, but the market lacked follow-through buying support, and outside market factors turned sour. The strong US dollar and increased concerns over violence in Egypt helped push the market lower. Weekly export sales for soybeans came in at 1.032 million tonnes for old crop and 3.076 million for new crop for a total of 4.107 million tonnes, which was well above trade expectations. Cumulative soybean sales stand at 88.7% of the USDA forecast for the 2010/11 marketing year versus a 5 year average of 76.1% for this time of the year. Sales of just 158,000 tonnes are needed each week to reach the USDA old crop export forecast. Meal sales came in at 177,900 metric tonnes versus90,000 tonnes needed each week to reach the USDA forecast. Net oil sales came in at 5,000 metric tonnes, which was below trade expectations, as there was a cancellation of 30,700 tonnes to an unknown destination. Cumulative soybean oil sales stand at 85.7% of the USDA forecast for 2010/11 marketing year versus a 5 year average of 41.5%. Sales of 5,000 metric tonnes are needed each week to reach the USDA forecast. While the Argentina strike is temporarily on hold as unions negotiate for higher wages for port workers, there is still uncertainty over the longer-term supply flow from Argentina, and this along with the outlook for drier weather over the next week may have helped provide some underlying support.