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Evening markets: 'aggressive' buying boosts beans

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Soybeans and cocoa partnered in setting nine-month highs on a better day for food commodities, helped by a trinity of stronger crude, a weaker dollar and fund buying.

"Old crop beans and meal are on fire, rocketing sharply higher and pulling the rest of the floor with them," Vic Lespinasse,'s Chicago market watcher, said, noting a dearth of sellers and "outright, aggressive speculative buying".

"Stay long beans and meal," he added.

Chicago's July soybean contract stood 2.4% higher at $12.75 ½ a bushel at 16:15 GMT, having hit a fresh nine-month high of $12.81 ½ a bushel earlier.

Corn on form

Wednesday's official data, showing US bean stocks heading for a 32-year low, continued to be a rallying point.

But a climb in oil well above $72 a barrel also helped, as did a weaker dollar. The euro added 0.9% against the greenback to $1.41.

That ensured that other Chicago crops also gained, with corn adding 1.6% to $4.42 ¾ a bushel and wheat up 0.4% to $5.98 ½ a bushel.

Weekly export sales data were seen as positive for both crops too, totalling 354,000 tonnes for wheat and 863,000 tonnes for corn.

Sweet and sour

Among softs, cocoa maintained its knack for standout performances – this time for reaching a four-month high.

New York's September contract added 2.2% to $2,848 a tonne, the best close for second contract since late August last year.

Fund buying, combined with thoughts that the market's prospects will be improved by rising economic hopes, has been reported as the main reason for cocoa's strength.

Other New York softs were not quite so impressive, with sugar managing only a 0.02 cent rise to 15.40 cents a pound and coffee up 0.8 cents at 133.25 cents for September delivery.

And July juice fell for an eighth successive day, losing 0.7 cents to 84.35 cents a pound, 11% adrift of its recent high at the start of the month.

Prices have been hurt by heavy rains in Florida, America's biggest citrus producing state, where drought had looked likely to hurt output.

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