By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, Nov 4 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures climbed to a six-week high on Friday as soyoil futures reached their highest level since June, buoyed by strong energy prices along with optimism about demand from China, the world’s top soy buyer, traders said.
Wheat and corn followed broad strength in the commodities sector as the dollar softened, in theory making U.S. grains more competitive globally.
Chicago Board of Trade January soybean futures SF3 settled up 25-1/4 cents at $14.62-1/4 per bushel after reaching $14.65-1/2, the contract’s highest level since Sept. 22. Benchmark December soyoil BOZ2 touched its highest since June 10. Soyoil is used to make biodiesel fuel.
CBOT December wheat WZ2 ended up 7-1/4 cents at $8.47-3/4 a bushel and December corn CZ2 rose 1-3/4 cents to finish at $6.81.
Spot U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 were up more than $4 a barrel, or 5%, lifting grain futures.
“Crude is up and the dollar is sharply lower, so that is helping everything. It’s the energy, and the bean oil blend into diesel fuel,” said Sherman Newlin, an analyst with Risk Management Commodities.
Prospects for China to ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions lent support to soybeans and other markets, despite the lack of any announced changes. China is the world’s largest soy importer.
“There are rumors that China could possibly change their COVID policy and open back up, so there is thinking that maybe we could sell a few more beans to China that way,” Newlin said.
A former Chinese disease control official said substantial changes to the country’s COVID-19 policy could take place soon.
CBOT wheat rose on technical buying and end-of-week short covering, along with the weaker U.S. dollar. Uncertainty about grain exports from the war-torn Black Sea region and adverse weather conditions in Australia lent support as well.
Russia wants the West to ease restrictions on state agriculture lender Rosselkhozbank to facilitate Russian grain exports, according to four sources familiar with the request, made during talks to extend a deal on food shipments from Ukraine.
In France, the European Union’s largest grain producer, the warmest October in 40 years has accelerated crop development so much that it has left them fragile to sudden frosts later in the season, French crop institute Arvalis warned on Friday.
(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Matthew Lewis)
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