July soybeans were trading 7 cents higher early this morning. China futures closed up 0.6% overnight as talk of an easier monetary policy and news that the highest producing state in China (Heilongjiang) will see a 20% drop in soybean plantings helped to support. Palm oil futures in Malaysia closed slightly higher. Hong Kong shares were weaker overnight but mainland Chinese shares managed to claw out minor gains off hints of easing from the Chinese government. European equity markets were a touch higher in the wake of comments from the G8 that suggested there would be an ongoing effort to keep Greece in the Euro zone. Surprisingly US equities were moderately higher in the early action today, perhaps because of the supportive Chinese dialogue and perhaps because of suggestions from the Fed's Lockhart that sustained monetary accommodation was still warranted and that the Option of QE3 couldn't be taken off the table. The US economic report slate today is somewhat thin with a Chicago Fed National Activity index release that is expected to rise by a minimal amount. July soybeans traded as high as 1423 overnight before the weakness in the wheat market helped pull soybeans well off of these highs into the early trade today. This was the first trading session where futures will trade straight through to the close this afternoon with the new 21 hour schedule. Talk of a need for some weather premium due to a warmer and drier weather trend for the next few weeks in the Midwest helped to support. Traders see rains limited to the northern Midwest and the 7-day moisture maps show a large area of the southern half of the Midwest and northern delta of little or no rain. Areas in central and southern Illinois may go another week or more with little or no rain and crops could be under stress if this outlook verifies. China customs confirmed that the country imported 4.88 million tonnes of soybeans in April which pushed the 4-month total to 18.15 million tonnes, up 22% from last year. India seeks 4,500 tonnes of Argentina soyoil. July soybeans sold off sharply on Friday but still managed to close 1 cent higher on the week. Funds were noted as unwinding long soybean/short wheat and long soybean/short corn spreads, and this helped support the other grains and pressure soybeans. Further weakness in China and ideas that the China economy may suffer short-term with so much uncertainty coming out of Europe helped to spark more long liquidation selling last week, and news that China plans to offer 600,000 tonnes of soybeans from state reserves this week helped to limit the advance. July meal pushed sharply lower after surging to its highest level since May 2nd on Thursday, while July oil pushed moderately lower, to its lowest level since December 16th to 50.03 before a bounce off of the lows. The Commitments of Traders reports as of May 15th for Soybeans showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 219,788 contracts, a decrease of 16,934 contracts for the week. The selling trend is seen as a short-term negative force. Non-Commercial and Nonreportable combined traders held a net long of 183,057 contracts, down 13,574. For Soybean Meal, Non-Commercial traders were net long 92,705 contracts, a decrease of 7,524 contracts for the week and the selling trend is seen as negative. Non-Commercial and Nonreportable combined traders were net long 113,260 contracts, down 6,042. For Soybean Oil, Non-Commercial traders were net short 5,950 contracts, an increase of 19,135 contracts in their net short for the week and this was a shift from a net long to net short position. Non-Commercial and Nonreportable combined traders held a net short position of 7,834 contracts. Commodity Index traders held a net long of 93,785 contracts, down 3,039.
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