By Phil Franz-Warkentin, MarketsFarm
WINNIPEG, Feb. 22 (MarketsFarm) – The ICE Futures canola market was mostly stronger on Monday, hitting record highs in the old crop months with speculative positioning a feature. However, the new crop contracts lagged to the upside.
The nearby March canola contract settled at C$800.70 per tonne, marking the first settlement above C$800 per tonne ever. The more active May contract also posted solid gains on the day, although new crop November was only up by 50 cents at the close after posting small losses for most of the session.
Tight old crop supplies and the need to ration demand going forward remained the major fundamental supportive factor in canola, according to traders. Gains in Chicago soybeans and soyoil also provided some support, although canola outpaced the United States futures to the upside.
The gains in canola along with recent strength in the Canadian dollar has cut into crush margins, which put some pressure on values. Overbought price sentiment also tempered the upside.
About 24,425 canola contracts traded on Monday, which compares with Friday when 23,259 contracts changed hands. Spreading accounted for 12,504 of the contracts traded.
SOYBEAN futures at the Chicago Board of Trade were stronger on Monday, finding some support from South American weather.
Rains across soybean growing areas of Brazil over the weekend and forecasts calling for more moisture over the next week provided some underlying support, with the precipitation causing harvest delays at this time of year.
Declining condition ratings out of Argentina also provided some support.
Weekly United States soybean export inspections of about 721,000 tonnes were in line with expectations.
CORN futures were up in sympathy with wheat and soybeans.
Weekly U.S. corn export inspections of 1.2 million tonnes were down slightly on the week, but in line with expectations and up from what moved the same week a year ago.
The slow soybean harvest pace in Brazil means that farmers in the country are running behind normal seeding the second corn crop. About 35 per cent of intended acres were seeded in the key agricultural state of Mato Grosso, which compares with the five-year average of 58 per cent.
WHEAT futures were stronger on the day, reacting to weather worries around the globe.
Cold temperatures in the Black Sea region led to winterkill concerns, with the damage caused by the recent U.S. cold snap also still being contemplated.
Weakness in the U.S. dollar was another supportive influence for wheat, as exports look more attractive for international buyers.