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Soybean Hits Three-Month High on Weather, Weekly Inspections

October 9, 2019 at 12:57 by Andrew Moran

Soybean futures are trading at their best levels since the middle of July, buoyed by winter weather impacting the US Midwest and new US government data highlighting a new high in export inspections for the marketing year. With US-China trade negotiations restarting on Thursday, American farmers are hoping that Washington can iron out an agreement with Beijing to resume soybean exports, but analysts are not as optimistic.

November soybean futures rose $0.09, or 0.98%, to $9.295 per bushel at 12:53 GMT on Wednesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Year-to-date, soybean prices are up 4%.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the number of soybeans inspected for export in the week ending October totaled 1.039 metric tons, up 5.4% from the previous week. For the marketing year that started September 1, total export inspections have surpassed four million mt, an increase of 17.1% from the same time a year ago. Also, inspections have topped the USDA’s 11.7% estimate.

The USDA reported that the top markets for soybean export inspections were China (139,668 mt), Mexico (138,213 mt), and The Netherlands (121,414 mt).

It might not dominate business headlines, but inspections are an important metric because US soybeans inspected for export have already been sold and are being prepared for shipments overseas.

Meanwhile, the US Midwest is bracing for a snowstorm that is expected to damage crops in the northern and western areas of the region. The blast of wintry weather could also contribute to harvest delays in this part of the country. Overall, Old Man Winter is anticipated to support near-term prices as soybean futures are gaining technical support at its 200-day moving average.

On Thursday, the US and China restart trade discussions. Despite initial optimism surrounding the negotiations, analysts have become sour, mainly because of the latest developments. The US government added to its list of blacklisted Chinese companies, while China wants to remove state subsidies and industrial policy from the bargaining table.

Still, China has been purchasing American soybeans, showing signs of good faith.

In other agricultural commodities, November corn futures added $0.01, or 0.25%, to $3.9675 per pound. November wheat futures dipped $0.005, or 0.1%, to $4.9975 a bushel. December orange juice futures shed $0.005, or 0.49%, to $1.018 a pound.

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