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Futures Close Report 24th January 2018

Brazil’s share of soybean exports to China, the world’s top buyer of the commodity, grew to the largest on record in 2017 and looks set to expand again this year, helped by competitive prices and the high protein content of its crops.  China, which imports 60% of the soybeans traded worldwide, bought 50.93 million tonnes from Brazil in 2017, accounting for 53.3% of total purchases, according to customs data released on Thursday.  The increase is at the expense the USA; their sales came in at 32.9 million tonnes, or 34.4% of China’s imports, the exporter’s lowest share since at least 2006.  The United States is the world’s biggest soybean exporter after Brazil, with the two countries accounting for roughly 80% of global shipments.

Chicago soybeans rose for a ninth consecutive session on Thursday, the longest unbroken gaining run in nearly six years, as dry weather in Argentina hit crop yields and a weaker U.S. dollar made dollar based commodities cheaper.  Soybeans were supported by concerns about drought in parts of Argentina, the world’s third-largest soybean producer and largest exporter of soymeal and soyoil.  Dryness there has fuelled forecasts of lost plantings and yield damage that could potentially tighten global supplies albeit that US still has ample stocks to export.

Ukraine’s grain exports are reported down 9% at 23.07 million tonnes for the 2017/18 July-June season.  Volumes included 11.99 million tonnes of wheat, 7.06 million tonnes of maize and 3.93 million tonnes of barley.  Ukraine exported about 44 million tonnes of grain in the 2016/17 season, including 17.4 million tonnes of wheat.