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Soybeans hit 2 1/2-year high

02/01/2011 @ 3:06pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--A weaker U.S. Dollar and strong demand helped the CME Group soybean market surge to a 2 1/2 year high Tuesday, corn closed higher as well.

The March corn futures settled 6 1/2 cents higher at $6.66. The March soybean contract closed 27 cents higher at $14.40.  The March wheat futures ended 5 1/2 cents higher at $8.35 1/4. March soybean meal futures settled $8.10 higher per short ton at $388.40. The March soyoil futures closed $0.84 higher at $58.72.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.42 per barrel lower, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 142 points.

USDA announces Tuesday that 120,000 metric tons of U.S. corn was sold to 'unknown' for 2010-11 delivery. Also, 110,000 mt of U.S. soybeans were sold to 'unknown' for 2010-11. And 20,000 metric tons of U.S. soy oil sold to China for 2010-11 delivery.

The 2010/2011 marketing year for corn and soybeans began September 1; soybean oil began October 1.

Along with fresh export sales, a continued strike in Argentine ports brings the focus of the market back to tight soybean supplies vs. weather concerns. 

Meanwhile, Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior grain analyst, says the big snowstorm, now hitting the US Midwest, could be a double-edged sword. "The states that get the bulk of the snow see a blanket protection for its wheat, as well as eventual needed moisture from the meltdown. But, some forecasts suggest the snows will miss up to 30% or more of the wheat that then will get hit with sub freezing temperatures and ice late  in the system. This could support wheat prices late week."

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