By Phil Franz-Warkentin, Commodity News Service Canada
Winnipeg, Feb. 6 (CNS Canada) – ICE Futures canola contracts were stronger on Wednesday, as improving crush margins and chart-based speculative buying provided support.
Chicago Board of Trade soyoil futures were up sharply on the day, while the Canadian dollar fell below 76 U.S. cents. Crush margins were supported as a result, which underpinned the canola market.
However, the large stocks reported by Statistics Canada on Tuesday remained a bearish influence in the background.
Traders were also cautious ahead of a number of key reports due out from the United States Department of Agriculture on Friday.
About 17,533 canola contracts traded on Wednesday, which compares with Tuesday when 12,867 contracts changed hands. Spreading accounted for 13,806 of the contracts traded.
SOYBEAN futures settled with small gains, after trading to both sides of unchanged. Soyoil led to the upside in the soy complex, with soymeal softer in the most active months.
The United States Department of Agriculture reported flash sales of nearly 600,000 tonnes of soybeans to China this morning, with additional business of 182,000 tonnes to other unknown destinations.
Dryness concerns and declining production estimates out of Brazil also provided some support.
However, the harvest is running ahead of normal in the South American country which kept a lid on the upside.
Positioning ahead of a slew of USDA reports out on Friday was a feature.
Corn futures finished with small losses, as traders adjusted positions ahead of Friday’s USDA reports.
U.S. ethanol production came in at 967,000 barrels per day in the latest weekly report. That put some pressure on the corn market, as it was down from the previous week and seen as a sign of declining demand for corn from the sector.
Wheat futures were lower in the most active months at Wednesday’s close. Friday’s USDA reports will include winter wheat acreage estimates, which could provide some direction for the futures. Average trade guesses are calling for a slightly smaller acreage base on the year.
Quarterly stocks numbers will also be released, and should provide a better picture of usage and export movement to date.