March soybeans were trading down 7 3/4 cents late in the overnight session. China futures closed up 0.7% this morning to a new 12-week high. On the other hand, Malaysia palm oil futures were down 0.7% posting a new 6-week low. Asian equity markets were generally stronger this morning, off mostly up beat data flows. However, European equities were mixed to slightly weaker overnight off some softer than expected guidance from a couple multinational heavyweights. In the early action today, US equities were showing mixed action, and it would appear that the US market is looking for some guidance from scheduled data or perhaps from a series of Fed speeches later today. From the US scheduled data front, the markets will be presented with a private layoff report early on and that will be followed by weekly claims figures, which are expected to post a minor decline. While the market will also see a US Productivity reading, the trade doesn't think that today's Productivity readings are likely to have a noted impact on Fed policy. It is also possible that a series of Fed speeches/testimony could have an impact on physical commodity markets during the session today. A portion of the trade thinks the Fed will hint at more assistance for the US economy. Less support from outside market forces and ideas that better weather in South America is stabilizing the crop and could improve crop conditions helped to pressure the market overnight. March soybeans closed sharply higher on the session yesterday and saw strong buying in the last hour of trade. A drier than expected forecast for southern Brazil plus a bullish tilt to outside market forces plus news of more China buying helped to support. The surge up in equity markets and a sharp break in the US dollar helped to support commodity markets. Private exporters reported a sale of 120,000 tonnes of US soybeans to China. The rally in the wheat market on cold weather concerns also supported the soybean complex as rapeseed crops in the Black Sea region are subject to winterkill damage. Traders see little or no damage. A strong basis level at the gulf and in the country added to the positive tone. The China Ministry of Commerce estimated January soybean imports at 5.29 million tonnes from 5.42 million in December. February arrivals are estimated at just 2.67 million. The Brazil crushing industry association (Abiove) pegged the Brazil soybean crop at 71.9 million tonnes which is down from 74.6 million last year. The USDA pegged the crop at 74.00 million tonnes in the January update and traders see a revision lower for the February update next Thursday. Brazil exported 1.01 million tonnes of soybeans in January which is up sharply from 208,100 tonnes last year. Brazil exports are normally tapering off ahead of harvest. For the weekly export sales report for release this morning, traders see sales near 450,000 tonnes from 592,200 tonnes last year. Taiwan bought 60,000 tonnes of Brazil soybeans for March shipment. Taiwan also bought 23,000 tonnes of corn and 12,000 tonnes of soybeans from the US.
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