Soybeans post fourth straight annual gain on supply issues

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CHICAGO, Dec. 30 (Reuters) –

Chicago soybeans rose on Friday and posted a strong year-on-year gain, amid strong export demand and drought in the main Argentine exporter, keeping the focus on supply tensions in the oilseed market.

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Concerns over drought in Argentina, the world’s largest exporter of soybean oil and soybean meal, and strong export demand drove Chicago Board of Trade soybean meal futures to prices the highest since March 31. It also pushed January, March and May soybean meal futures to new highs on Friday. .

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In Argentina, traders were monitoring weather forecasts indicating high temperatures and light showers in the coming days, as well as concerns about delayed plantings.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said Thursday that 500,000 hectares of soybeans may not be planted if further rains prevent progress in field work.

« It’s a real weather rally, » said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based broker US Commodities.

« For next year, the weather will always be the big thing, » Roose said. “The question is whether the current La Nina cycle will turn into an El Nino cycle so that we can get more normal rains in South America and the United States, which will allow us to rebuild American and global stocks. . »

Investors also continued to assess demand prospects in China, the world’s largest importer of soybeans, as the removal of COVID-19 restrictions fueled a wave of infections and expectations of a rebound. economy next year.

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Wheat also firmed on Friday amid fears of winter storm damage to U.S. wheat crops, while corn eased on technical trade.

During the year, the wheat should finish almost flat. Wheat futures hit a record high in March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dampened global supply.

But a revival of Black Sea trade in recent months, aided by a sea corridor from Ukraine and a record Russian harvest, has tempered supply fears caused by Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour.

The most active Chicago Board of Trade corn contract ended down 1 cent, settling at $6.78-1/2 a bushel. It ended the year up almost 14.4%, supported by the disruptions of the war in Ukraine and the drought in Argentina.

CBOT soybeans ended the day up 7 1/2 cents to settle at $15.24 a bushel. For the year, soybeans rose nearly 13.8% – a fourth consecutive annual gain.

And CBOT wheat rose 18 cents to $7.92 a bushel – and ended the year up nearly 2.8%. (Reporting by PJ Huffstutter in Chicago Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by David Evans, Matthew Lewis and Aurora Ellis)


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