November soybeans are trading 8 cents higher near 7:30 am CST. The supportive trade is linked to a sharply higher wheat market and steady trade in corn. Soybean meal is trading slightly higher while oil is stronger. Malaysian palm oil futures were higher overnight after traders turned more optimistic towards exports. While Shanghai stocks managed a minor gain on the day, that measure actually finished the week at the lowest levels in roughly 2 1/2 months. The German, French and Spanish equity markets were higher early today, with some yields on key sovereign debt ticking downward in the wake of very supportive dialogue from the German Chancellor Merkel. US stocks were mixed in the early action today, but the US market hasn't been definitively influenced by minor changes in the EU debt crisis lately. Today, the US will see a private consumer sentiment report and a Leading Indicator report, with the Leading Indicators report expected to post a modest gain. The soybean market saw a supportive trade overnight as cash markets and calendar spreads suggest a positive price outlook. The September vs. November calendar spread saw a stronger day yesterday as domestic demand remains firm nearby and 2012/13 export sales continue their impressive pace. Cumulative soybean sales stand at 54% of the USDA forecast for 2012/2013 vs. the 5 year average of 24%. The strong export pace could continue as Chinese importers may need to cover more of their needs from November forward as food prices escalate in China. Strong basis levels in the interior of the Midwest along with the Gulf of Mexico have offset the slightly bearish weather forecast to finish out the month of August. Processor basis levels were firmer yesterday and crush margins remain positive given the strong demand for soybean meal. It has been rumored that China has booked 5-10 cargos of Soybeans this week but no confirmation has been made of this. Iowa and Wisconsin saw better than expected rainfall on Wednesday night and the storm seemed to intensify as it dipped south and east. Rainfall over the last two weeks in the northern plains and eastern Corn Belt has renewed optimism that soybean yields will be average to above average for these areas. This is being offset by an outlook that suggests 25-35% of Midwest continues to be stressed. Yesterday's midday weather maps also put more rain in the forecast for Illinois and Indiana but the market is uncertain as to if this rain is too late for the soybeans in these areas. The rapid pace of development may mean that the rainfall is 2 weeks too late. Shortages of seed and fertilizer in Brazil could have long term implications on the soybean market. The critical planting period is only weeks away and the poor infrastructure, port strikes, and rain have caused significant delays in unloading fertilizer to meet producer needs. Soybean acres are expected to increase by 8% to 24.8 million hectares this year. However, further delays could leave the second largest producer of soybeans short of seed and pesticide.
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