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Evening markets: export data spur import of hope

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You can't keep a good thing down. Just as it looked like struggling external markets, a weak oil price, a stronger dollar had unsettled the rally in food commodities, along came US export data.

Kazzam. US Department of Agriculture's figures showing US soybean shipments of 754,800 tonnes were above estimates of 650,000-750,000 tonnes.

Corn sales were upbeat too, at 937,000 tonnes for this crop year and 246,000 tonnes for the next one.

Ok, wheat exports were disappointing, at 234,000. But, hey, the bulls were fed, and feasted on Chicago grains, pulling them well off lows hit during Asian trading hours.

That equities recovered too, the dollar weakened, and oil at least got one foot ahead – Brent crude was 1.3% lower at $56.59 a barrel at 18:14 GMT, with New York crude up 0.8% at $58.51 a barrel – only strengthened the rebound.

"The market surged to new highs late in most pits late in the session to end higher everywhere except oil and oats," said Victor Lespinasse at

"Overall, it was an impressive performance."

'Healthy bull market'

Soybeans, naturally, were in greatest demand. The July contract jumped 1.6% to $11.46 a bushel, with the tail of contracts showing diminishing gains. July 2010, for instance, added only 0.2% to $9.82 a bushel.

That was a "good sign of a healthy bull market", one market watcher said.

Corn took a more even-handed approach, sharing its gains more evenly, and in smaller doses. July added 2 cents to $4.28 ½ a bushel, in line with succeeding contracts. March 2010, for instance, added 2.25 cents to $4.60 a bushel.

Wheat's distant contracts did less well, failing to make it back onto positive ground as the prospect of bumper stocks loomed on the distant horizon. September 2010, for instance, lost 2.25 cents to $6.76 ¾ a bushel.

Near-term contracts, however, had less to worry about. July 2009, the best-traded contract, ended 3.25 cents higher at $5.92 a bushel, with September adding 3 cents to $6.18 ¼ a bushel.

Battle of the oils

It was a similar story in London, where July wheat added £1.00 to £121.00 a tonne while some distant contracts marked time - for example the July 2010 contract, which held at £139.00 a tonne.

Meanwhile, Paris rapeseed dropped across the board, giving back some ground gained in a recent run, with August slipping E1.50 at E3420.00.

Rapeseed appears to have taken its lead from Kuala Lumpur palm oil rather than its other vegetable oil rival, soybeans.

Palm oil for July slumped 3.8% to 2,684 ringgit a tonne on Bursa Malaysia on fears that its recent rise to a nine-month high risked pricing it out of the market.

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