US MIDDAY: grains at multi-week high
November 24, 2012
US grain futures rose to multi-week highs on Friday as weakness in the US dollar gave commodities a boost and weekly export sales topped expectations. Corn futures touched a two-week high after the US Department of Agriculture said US export sales last week were 958,600 tonnes, well above analysts’ estimates for 300,000 tonnes to 450,000 tonnes.
Wheat export sales of 657,500 tonnes were above estimates for 200,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes, and soyabean sales of 543,600 tonnes were within expectations. Weakness in the dollar helped support gains in the markets because a declining dollar makes commodities priced in dollars more affordable for buyers using other currencies.
January soyabeans set a one-week high and were up 0.8 percent to $14.18-3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade by 10:15 am CST (1615 GMT). December wheat gained 0.5 percent to trade at $8.49-3/4 a bushel, while December corn jumped 0.6 percent to $7.45-1/4 a bushel.
US traders have been keeping a close eye on demand because they already have a good understanding of supplies following an early harvest this autumn in the United States, the world’s top grain exporter. Traders were waiting for an improvement in demand for US wheat since supplies have tightened in other exporting countries like Australia and Ukraine.
Ukraine’s grain traders are ready to halt milling wheat exports on an informal basis, as they approach a critical limit, in order to protect the domestic market after a poor harvest, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Exports of milling wheat have reached 5.2 million tonnes so far this season, said the ministry, which had previously agreed to allow traders to ship abroad no more than 5.5 million tonnes. Demand also has stayed strong for soyabean oil, as private exporters struck a deal to sell 20,000 tonnes of US soyabean oil to unknown destination for delivery during the 2012/13 marketing year, the US Agriculture Department said on Friday.