November 17, 2008

Monday: China soybean futures settle down tracking stronger dollar


China's soybean futures traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange settled slightly lower Monday, pressured by the strengthening dollar and along with weakening cash soybean prices.


The benchmark May 2009 soybean contract settled RMB5 lower at RMB3,231 a metric tonne, down 0.2%.


The fall in soybean oil prices also weighed on soybean prices.


Some soy oil processing plants suspended production due to losses amid a sluggish soy oil demand.


As a result, traders were unwilling to buy soybeans to add to their already ample stocks, while farmers were reluctant to sell on lower prices, said Tianqi Futures in a note.


The open interest in all soybean contracts fell 3,158 lots to 602,040 lots Monday. The trading volume declined to 533,078 lots from 848,320 lots Friday.


Corn, soybean meal and palm oil futures settled higher, but soy oil futures settled mostly lower.


Soy oil imports in October remained lower, although the on-year fall was lower compared with the fall in September.


China's October soy oil imports dropped 27.7% on year to 200,000 metric tonnes, according to preliminary data issued Monday by the General Administration of Customs.


The decline was lower than a fall of 39.6% on year in September, because the government took advantage of lower prices to buy for state reserves, analysts said.


"(Imports) are mostly government purchases, and traders dare not buy after the recent tumble (in soy oil prices)," said an official at a state-owned grain house.


But a better demand ahead of the year-end holidays and the government's supportive policies may help soy oil prices rebound slightly soon, said Xiao Jun, an analyst at Shanghai JCI, a commodities consultancy firm.


Monday's settlement prices in yuan a metric tonne for benchmark contracts and volume for all contracts in lots (one lot is equivalent to 10 tonnes):


Contract       Settlement        Price       Change       Volume

Soybean       May 2009         3,231       Dn    5       533,078

Corn             May 2009         1,595       Up   12      308,076

Soymeal       May 2009          2,541       Up    4       353,108

Palm Oil        Jan 2009           4,460       Up   34      183,854

Soyoil           Jan 2009           6,310       Dn   42      354,120

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