December 26, 2008

Friday: China soy futures settle little changed on lack of cues

China's soybean futures traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange settled little changed Friday, as the market lacked guidance from its bigger counterpart - the Chicago Board of Trade - that was closed for Christmas.


The benchmark May 2009 soybean contract settled RMB1 lower at RMB3,286/tonne.


There were few triggers for the market to trade on, and it just consolidated during the session, said Liu Xinghua, an analyst at Great Wall Futures Co.


Despite the continued rebound in prices since early December, the fundamentals haven't changed much amid the ongoing global slowdown that is derailing demand, and analysts believe it is just a rebound amid a bear market.


The dryness in South America's major soybean producing areas and strong cash prices in the U.S. helped prices rebound in China. Still, weaker crude oil and the dollar's unclear direction is adding pressure to commodity prices, said analysts.


High level of imported soybean stocks at Chinese ports, and likely sluggish consumption after the Chinese New Year in late January, may further lower soybean prices, and CBOT's benchmark contract may test US$6-US$8 a bushel, said Liu.


March soybeans on CBOT finished 14 cents higher at US$9.19 Wednesday.


Open interest in all soybean contracts fell 310 lots to 454,426 lots Friday.


Trading volume declined to 544,088 lots from 690,434 lots Thursday.


Corn futures, soymeal futures and soyoil futures settled lower, while palm oil futures settled higher.


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        3,286      Dn    1      544,088

Corn              May 2009        1,521       Dn    6      254,600

Soymeal         May 2009        2,323       Dn   15     271,538

Palm Oil          May 2009        5,090       Up   42     323,840

Soyoil             May 2009        6,046       Dn   34     365,474

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