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Soybeans end sharply higher

Updated: 02/03/2012 @ 1:37pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--The CME Group soybean market finished the week on a sharp rally, due to continued South America crop-weather concerns, while corn and wheat traded weaker Friday.

The March corn futures settled 1 1/2 cents higher at $6.44 1/2. The March soybean contract closed 15 1/2 cents higher at $12.32 1/2. The March wheat futures ended 2 cents lower at $6.60 3/4.  The March soymeal futures closed $5.25 per short ton higher at $326.80. The March soyoil futures closed $0.46 higher at $51.65. 

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.21 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 149 points.

On Friday, Informa, the private analyst firm, released updated world crop estimates,. For Brazil's 2011-12 corn, the firm estimated output at 61.65 million metric tons. The firm cut its Brazil soybean production estimate to 70.0 mmt, due to a lack of rains in December.

For Argentina corn, Informa cut its estimate for 2011-12 to 22.5 mmt, and cut Argentina's soybean output to 46.5 mmt.

Joe Bedore, FC Stone Inc.'s CME Group floor manager, says the soybean market is doing better than expected, based upon crop-weather concerns. "I thought the rains came and helped that southern South America crop," he says. I'm stunned at this market. 

Informa's numbers weren't that bullish, he says. "For corn, we need Argentina's corn estimate to be 20.0 mmt, or below, to be bullish. Informa cut, but not by much, Brazil's soybean number at 70.0 mmt. 

Bedore adds, "Technically, soybeans are strong, but technicals don't mean much anymore. The funds are in this marketing buying, I know. But, I'm still surprised South America bean estimates are being cut."

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