Oilseeds top of the table

THE WORLD international oilseed market is in the midst of a boom, with soybeans this week soaring to record levels on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) at $US17.68 a bushel for the November contract.

This price run has not been quite matched by Australian canola, which is now trading significantly under soybeans, and even under Canadian canola.

Australian canola prices are at around $590/t port, compared to the Winnipeg exchange price of $633/t in Canada.

ProFarmer senior commodity analyst Malcolm Bartholomaeus said there had been a strong rally in soybeans since June, but Australian canola values were being held back slightly by European rapeseed values.

“It’s quite an unusual situation, usually canola is at a premium to soybeans, and Australian canola is above Canadian, but we seem to be taking our lead from Europe, and the MATIF futures exchange out of Paris seems to see European rapeseed under a bit of harvest pressure.

“We have been disconnected from Canadian canola values ever since June.”

Mr Bartholomaeus said there was further bullish news for the market with the belief the Canadian canola crop would come in under earlier estimates.

“It’s still going to be a record crop, but it might be slightly under the 16 million tonnes predicted.”

Interestingly, he said soybean importers were happy to do business at current price levels.

“In corn, we saw people cutting back demand, but soybean exports out of the US have remained pretty well intact over the last couple of months.”

Corn’s reach spills over into the oilseed market, with demand for soybean meal as a substitute for dry distillers’ grain from ethanol made from corn, with ethanol production down in the US due to the high price of corn.

Parts of the US soybean belt was hit by the remnants of Hurricane Isaac last week, which delivered rainfall of up to 150mm in states such as Illinois, however this is not expected to have much influence on soybean yields.

“Leaf drop has begun, but the crop is not ready to harvest, so for the most part it is too soon to cause quality issues with rain on a mature crop, but too late to boost yield significantly, the rain may be more of an impact on corn crops that are ready to harvest,” Mr Bartholomaeus said. 

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