July soybeans were trading 4 3/4 cents lower near 7:30 am. China futures closed down 0.1% in quiet trade overnight. Palm oil futures in Malaysia closed 0.4% higher. Hong Kong shares finally managed a small rise last night and in the process that market broke a long chain of daily losses. Even the Japanese Nikkei managed a recovery last night and the slightly improved global economic tone today might be the result of more talk of a shift away from strict austerity measures and toward more growth orientated policies. In fact, many equities markets have continued to draw some lift from recent hints that the Chinese government was poised to increase infrastructure spending, as a way to cushion the Chinese economy against further slowing. European equity markets were also showing some recovery action today ahead of the EU summit, which could further the concept of growth over austerity. With Italian and Spanish debt yields slightly lower overnight and an EU payment to Greek banks expected at the end of the week, the markets are seeing a minimal improvement in macro economic psychology. The US economic report slate today presents existing home sales, a Richmond Fed manufacturing report, a US Treasury auction and an early US Fed speech. While a solid performance, November soybeans saw an inside trading sessions yesterday and closed well off of the highs. The weekly soybeans planting report showed that a record high 76% of the crop is planted compared to 68% expected, 46% last week and 35% last year. The 10 year average for this time of year is 45%. The previous highest percent complete was 72% in 2000. Weather is beginning to become a more important force. The extended forecast models are still showing a drier and warmer trend and traders are especially concerned with the areas which did not get any rains in the past week. This area includes most of Iowa, western Illinois and much of Missouri. In addition, eastern Indiana and parts of Ohio were dry. The outlook for much of the next two weeks shows rains staying mostly in the northern Midwest states and there is increased concerns for soybeans planted in dry areas as there could be germination issues with some crusting of topsoils noted as a potential problems. Temperatures will also be mostly above to much above normal. Ideas that the market may need to add some weather premium just in case early June remains drier than normal has helped support the market. The surge higher in wheat and the US stock market has added to the positive tone. Heat and dryness in the wheat areas is also seen as a potential supportive force if double crop acres do not receive some good rains for planting and this added to the positive tone. After the recent active pace of China imports, traders are fearful of a lull. However, the pace is very impressive and many traders see total imports near 60 million tonnes as compared with 56 million as the USDA estimate after April imports totaled 4.88 million tonnes. There are concerns that weaker crush margins and more active selling of state reserves could keep China buying slow in the short-term. Indonesia may scrap its 5% tariff on soybean imports.
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