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Soybean Premiums Rise on Improved Export Demand; Corn Steady

Cash premiums for soybeans shipped to export terminals near New Orleans this month increased against futures on speculation that rising export demand will increase competition for tight supplies. Corn premiums were unchanged.

The spot-basis bid, or premium, for soybeans delivered in December rose to 77 cents to 82 cents a bushel above January futures, compared with 77 cents to 81 cents on Dec. 3, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Corn premiums were unchanged at 46 cents to 47 cents a bushel above March futures, the agency said.

“Soybean export demand should remain strong the next two months, boosting demand for immediate supplies,” said Scott Stoller, a grain merchandiser for Michlig Agricenter Inc. in Manlius, Illinois. “Rising barge freight this past week slowed corn demand.”

Soybean futures for January delivery declined 11.75 cents, or 0.9 percent, to close at $12.885 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The oilseed gained 5 percent last week, the biggest rally since mid-October.

Corn futures for March delivery dropped 5.5 cents, or 1 percent, to close at $5.68 a bushel on the CBOT. The price added 3.7 percent last week.

U.S. soybean-exporters sold 171,000 metric tons to China, with 116,000 tons for delivery before Aug. 31 and 55,000 tons for delivery in the next marketing year, the USDA said today. An additional 20,000 tons of soybean oil were sold to unknown destinations, the agency said.

The cost of moving grain along the Middle Mississippi River to New Orleans rose to 454 percent of the 1976 published tariff rates, the second straight gain, the USDA said on Dec. 1. The rate was 409 percent in the week ended Nov. 17, the lowest since August.

“It looks like exporters came into December with light coverage, and they are moving to acquire increased soybean supplies,” Stoller said.

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