July soybeans were trading 2 1/2 cents higher near 7:30 cst. China futures were unchanged overnight and Palm oil futures in Malaysia closed 2% higher. Hong Kong shares finished marginally higher last night but that market still saw losses for the week. Mainland China stocks were down for the 3rd straight session, despite some strength in Chinese railway stocks. European equity markets were still showing concern toward the Greek situation as recent polls showing more gains were made among the far leftist party and that in turn seemingly increases the odds of a Greek exit from the EU. However, some favorable data from France and German consumer confidence overnight seems to have provided a minor boost in economic sentiment in that region and that could help Europe end the week on a less discouraging note. The US markets were showing minimal initial gains early this morning, as US data this week generally surprised with results that were slightly better than initial expectations. The US economic report slate is rather thin today, with an early speech from the Fed's Plosser in Germany and that will be followed later in the session by a Reuters University of Michigan consumer survey. With less pressure from outside market forces, the soybean market will seek direction from the near-term fundamentals and weather. While there is some talk of the history of Memorial Day weekend weakness, the short-term demand factors seem to give the bulls a bit of an edge. Export demand remains strong, South America production ideas continue to shrink and US crusher demand is also strong due to high crush margins. Traders see China import demand in June near 5.8 million tonnes from 4.31 million last year and this would keep the total pace for the year some 2-4 million tonnes above the current USDA estimate for 56 million tonnes. China raised their estimate for May imports to a record high 7.23 million tonnes from their previous estimate of 5.63 million. Weakness in corn and less support from outside forces late in the session yesterday helped to limit the advance. The 99 cent break in 5 trading sessions may have left the market a bit oversold and traders believe that the break has already absorbed the improved weather outlook for next week. Traders see widespread coverage next week of 1/4 to one inch of rain across the Midwest with the late week episode. Areas of the northern Midwest look to receive rain early next week. Some overnight models show some increased coverage for the eastern Corn Belt for late next week due to slower moving system. There are still some replanting concerns due to crusted soils. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange cut its estimate for production to just 39.9 million tonnes from 41 million previous and this news helped support. Weekly export sales for soybeans came in at 953,700 tonnes which was about as expected. Cumulative soybean sales stand at 100.3% of the USDA forecast for 2011/2012 (current) marketing year versus a 5 year average of 97.5%. The data suggests that the USDA may be in a position to raise their export forecast for the June update. Meal sales came in at 176,600 tonnes and oil sales 24,400 tonnes. The Chinese government sold 188,410 tonnes of the 605,356 offered out of their reserve. Taiwan bought 115,000 tonnes of Brazil soybeans overnight.