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Soybeans blast off on strong processing data

Soybean futures topped out Tuesday above $15/bushel for the first time in quite a while on news that there's a lot of demand for both the oilseed and its oil.

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) announced Tuesday soybean crush for the month of March in the U.S. was 153.84 million bushels. That's a sharp jump from the February figure of 141.6 million bushels. And, it makes the March figure the highest for that month in 13 years.

"That explains the 30-cent run-up in old crop soybeans a whole lot better than some antecdote about so and so is long cash and short futures and that we all need to 'Sell Sell Sell' before the price drops like a rock," says Marketing Talk advisor Red Steele.

Now, not only do those numbers have futures prices surging, it's got cash basis levels stronger around the country, and some say that could continue for a while.

"Soybeans had a surprise in the form of a much larger than expected crush number for the month of March. The number came in 6 million bushels larger than expected, and when beans are this tight, it doesn’t take much of a change to get the bulls revved up," says Cargill Senior Grain Merchandiser in Eddyville, Iowa, Ray Jenkins. "The close over $15 in May futures, along with firm cash bids in the country, are signs of strength that just might be with us for the spring and summer as the market works to 'solve' the soybean conundrum with prices that ration a tight supply, and finding out how to get imported soybeans to the right places in the supply/demand chain."

Red Steele agrees: "$20 old crop soybeans is starting to look pretty realistic with $100 hogs and $140 cattle chewing away, and harvest a long ways away," says the southern Minnesota farmer.

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