Canola little changed Thursday morning

Canola is mixed on Thursday morning, supported by slightly stronger soybean oil futures but pressured by lower soybean futures.

At about 11:10 a.m. CST January canola is trading at $584.60 per tonne, unchanged from the previous day’s close.

March is trading at 583.10, up 20 cents.

Soybean futures are under a bit of lingering pressure from last week’s bearish USDA report that increased the estimate of the U.S. soybean crop and by generally favourable growing conditions in Brazil.

Vegetable oil prices are still supported by the strong run up on Wednesday of palm oil prices, supported by improved Malaysian exports and expectations of improved demand.

Wheat was supported by word from Egypt that it will likely not be able to buy from Ukraine in the new year due to short supply and will have to source product from Europe, North America, Australia and Argentina.

Reuters reports that Ukraine says its winter wheat crop is in near perfect condition as it goes into dormancy, but Russia’s outlook is unclear, although the crop is expected to improve overall from last year’s crop.

Reuters quotes Sterling Smith, futures specialist with Citigroup, as saying that U.S. corn exporters, which have been dreadful, might pick up early in the new year as South America and The Black Sea region run low on exportable supply.

Markets in general are cautious as new violence breaks out between Israel and Gaza.

Also the U.S. fiscal cliff is a continuing worry.

Disappointing weekly employment and factory activity data shows Hurricane Sandy dealt a blow to the U.S. economy.

Crude oil in New York is a little lower, trading at $85.79, down 53 cents at about 11 a.m. CST.

The Bank of Canada noon rate for the loonie was 99.75 cents US, down from 99.82 the day before.

The U.S. dollar was $1.0025 Cdn.