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Soybeans close sharply higher

Updated: 03/23/2012 @ 1:56pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--Lower South American production estimates, a lower U.S. Dollar, and talk of China buying, helped soybean prices close up double-digits Friday.

The July corn futures settled 1 3/4 cents higher at $6.44 1/2. The July soybean contract settled 15 cents higher at $13.71 3/4. The July wheat futures ended 9 cents higher at $6.64 1/2. The July soymeal futures settled $2.80 per short ton higher at $373.90. The July soyoil futures settled $0.92 higher at $55.29. 
In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.49 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 49 points.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice president, says this rally is partly about talk of China needing corn and possibly buying soybeans. "But the dollar is sharply lower this morning and there are some lower Brazil estimates around.  Rio Grande Do Sol yields are coming in poor, so 67.0 mmt seems to be more and more common as a production estimate."

Meanwhile, the trade level is low, he says.

"Most of this trading today seems to be spec/fund buying to me.  I expect markets to stay firm into the close today. I don’t see any selling around and the farmer is not interested right now," Scoville says.

Joe Bedore, FC Stone Inc.'s CME Group floor trader agrees that South America's production has a lot to do with the high soybean market. "Until we have a better handle on that country's crop, this soybean market could have another 30-40¢ rise in it," Bedore says.

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