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Soybeans close sharply higher

Updated: 12/23/2010 @ 2:17pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--At the close, CME Group soybeans surge higher on demand Thursday.

The March corn futures settled 5 cents higher at $6.14. The Jan. soybean contract closed 20 3/4 cents higher at $13.49 1/2. The March wheat futures ended 1/2 of a cent lower at $7.83. The Jan. soybean meal futures closed $7.30 higher per short ton at $360.00. The Jan. soyoil futures closed $0.62 higher at $56.59. 

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.04 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are down 2 points.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says the soybean market is well supported Thursday. "Soybeans are the strength of the market and seem to be reacting to export sales announced today as well as the Argentine weather. Have not seen anything else to support beans here today"

Scoville adds, "There's very little interest in corn and wheat, both markets remain mixed. Beans made some new highs, got the stops, and are backing off now but are still strong. I think it is more a case of no one wanting to be real short than any big new buying today."

USDA released neutral-to-friendly Weekly Export Sales Thursday. The report shows continued strong demand. For corn, sales were 906,100 metric tons, the trade expected between 850-105,000 metric tons (mt). For soybeans, USDA reported sales of 827,000 metric tons, the trade expected between 700-900,000 (mt). For wheat, the USDA says 597,000mt, the trade expected between 550 to 750,000 (mt). 

It's interesting to note that China made up 77% of this week's soybean export sales.

Separately, USDA reported  Thursday that Iraq bought 100,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat. And, an 'unknown' purchased 150,000 mt of U.S. soybeans for 2010-11 delivery.

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