By Phil Franz-Warkentin, MarketsFarm
WINNIPEG, April 8 (MarketsFarm) – The ICE Futures canola market was mostly stronger on Thursday, with the nearby May contract hitting fresh contract highs in choppy activity.
Gains in Chicago Board of Trade soybeans and soyoil provided some spillover support, although canola also found some independent strength.
Tight old crop supplies remained a major supportive influence, with mounting dryness concerns across Western Canada also supportive.
However, forecasts calling for much needed precipitation over the next week put some pressure on the new crop contracts.
Fund positioning was a feature, as the intermonth spreads saw some adjustment.
About 19,217 canola contracts traded on Thursday, which compares with Wednesday when 22,313 contracts changed hands. Spreading accounted for 8,498 of the contracts traded.
SOYBEAN futures at the Chicago Board of Trade were stronger on Thursday, with positioning ahead of Friday’s monthly United States Department of Agriculture supply/demand report behind some of the activity.
Average trade guesses ahead of the report call for a slight tightening of U.S. soybean ending stocks compared to the March report.
Weekly U.S. soybean export sales included net cancellations of old crop business of 92,500 tonnes, as supplies tighten. However, now crop sales, at about 340,000 tonnes topped trade guesses.
CORN was sharply higher on the day, underpinned by solid export demand and a rally in wheat.
Weekly U.S. corn export sales at 757,000 tonnes came in at the high end of trade expectations, with an additional 50,000 tonnes of new crop business also reported.
Strong exports over the past month are expected to cut into U.S. ending stocks projections in tomorrow’s USDA report by as much as 100 million bushels.
WHEAT futures were higher, with the largest gains in Minneapolis spring wheat as the spreads between the three wheat markets saw some readjustment.
Weekly U.S. wheat export sales included 500,000 tonnes of new crop business. That far surpassed trade guesses and provided support, despite disappointing old crop sales of only 82,000 tonnes.
Dryness in the northern U.S. Plains was especially supportive for spring wheat, cutting into early yield projections and possibly leading to reduced acres.
Forecasts calling for cold temperatures in the European Union were also supportive.