Morning markets: multi-market rebound pulls up crop futures

1 Wednesday was an up day, in early deals at least.

The late surge on Wall Street, which drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average to close up 4%, helped Asian shares post, less enthusiastic, gains too. Tokyo’s Nikkei index closed up 1.1%.

The dollar weakened, another sign of a more "risk on" temperament, shedding 0.9% as of 07:40 GMT (08:40 UK time) against a basket of currencies, and helping dollar-denominated assets such as commodities by making them more competitive as exports.

That helped New York crude top $82 a barrel, a gain of more than 3%, with copper showing healthy gains too.

‘Hotter pattern developing’

Among farm commodities, that cocktail was enough to help evensoybeans revive, after the oilseed proved among the handful of losers in the last session.

And there were other reasons for investors to look more favourably on soybeans too, to avoid compounding the technical weakness instilled by last night’s close for the November lot below the 200-day moving average, of $13.11 a bushel, for the first time since July.

"Staying over $12.90-13.00 a bushel is key, or else $12.50 is the next target," Mike Mawdsely at Market 1 said.

One price support was the return of threats in the US weather outlook, in a sensitive month for the oilseed, "with models in strong agreement in showing a hotter pattern developing by August 18-19," WxRisk.com said.

"This means that the trend is building that 95-degrees-Fahrenheit-plus temperatures will return to Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri and possibly into western Illinois in the period of August 18-19 to 23-24."

China buying

Then Chinese import data came confirmed speculation that the country had returned to purchases, after a lull forced by negative margins among crushers.

China’s soybean imports soared 24% last month, from June, to 5.35m tonnes,

November soybeans gained 0.6% in Chicago to $13.07 a bushel, if failing to secure the 200-day moving average while, elsewhere in the oilseeds complex, palm oil enjoyed a better day too, gaining 0.8% to 2,943 ringgit a tonne.

Besides a jump in Chinese imports of vegetable oils, up nearly 50% month on month to 700,000 tonnes, official data showed a decline in inventories in Malaysia, the second-ranked producer and exporter of the oilseed.

Quality question

Back in Chicago, corn gained 1.1% to $6.95 ¾ a bushel for December delivery, riding the broader markets tide and the deteriorated US weather outlook. The September lot added 1.1% to $6.85 ¾ a bushel.

The grain is also coming under the increasing influence of expectations of a cut on Thursday, in the US Department of Agriculture’s key Wasde crop report, in the official forecasts for the American corn yield, and harvested acres.

Wheat was once again stronger, adding 1.6% to $6.82 ¼ a bushel to close its unusual discount to corn, amid growing concerns for supplies of high-quality wheat, with the issues presented by central Europe’s persistent harvest rains making their way across the Atlantic.

"The recent rain events in Germany and Poland may cloud the global trade as quality in many of these areas deteriorates due to wet conditions during harvest," Brian Henry at Benson Quinn Commodities said.

"The possibility of further damage merits attention, as supplies of quality wheat do not correlate to the relatively comfortable global wheat supplies."

Not that this was being reflected in prices of the grain on the exchanges in Kansas, where the September lot added 1.4% to $7.73 ¾ a bushel, and Minneapolis, up 1.0% to $8.25 ¼ a bushel, which trade hard wheats.

‘On a nice roll’

Still, rough rice once again did better, adding 2.0% to its limit-up performance in the last session to hit $17.10 a hundredweight in Chicago for September delivery.

"Rice is on a nice roll after the bounce off the 50-day moving average," Matthew Pierce at PitGuru said.

The grain is being boosted by concerns for the US crop, thanks to low sowings and weather setbacks, besides fears that much Japanese rice may have been contaminated by radiation stemming from the stricken Fukushima reactor.

In fact, some samples taken from crops near Tokyo showed no contamination, reports said.


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