December 12, 2008

Friday: China soy futures tad up but failed US auto bailout weighs



China's soybean futures traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange settled slightly higher Thursday, tracking a rise at the Chicago Board of Trade overnight.


But the failure of the U.S. automaker bailout plan brought selling pressure across the commodities complex in the afternoon, paring earlier gains.


The benchmark May 2009 soybean contract settled RMB6, or 0.2%, higher at RMB3,021 a metric tonne.


Soybean futures contracts fell sharply from the start of trading in the afternoon after making strong gains in the morning session on news that the U.S. Senate failed to reach a compromise to bail out automakers.


China's commodities market was generally lower as demand for commodities such as crude oil and steel can be expected to decline if one or more of the automakers seek bankruptcy protection, said a local trader.


Soybean product prices have been particularly affected by crude's ups and downs of late.


China is expected to import 2.93 million metric tonnes of soybeans in December, according to an initial estimate issued Friday by the Ministry of Commerce.


This is 9% more than the estimate of imports for November, which was issued last month.


Usually, the commerce ministry's forecast is much lower than actual imports as it doesn't include all cargoes.


China imported 3.32 million tonnes of soybeans in November, according to initial data issued by the customs, compared with the commerce ministry's estimate of 2.69 million tonnes.


Open interest in all soybean contracts fell by 20,530 lots to 535,912 lots Friday.


Trading volume rose to 796,054 lots from 662,848 lots Thursday.


Corn futures settled mostly little changed, soymeal and palm oil futures settled slightly higher while soyoil futures settled lower.


Friday'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        3,021       Up    6       796,054

Corn             May 2009         1,461       Up    1       399,692

Soymeal        May 2009        2,194        Up   10      321,170

Palm Oil         May 2009        4,804        Up    2       188,978

Soyoil            May 2009        5,812        Dn   12      424,788

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