By Joanna Newman

HELPED by favourable weather conditions, the autumn bean harvest is running smoothly with 82% of the crop already gathered, in line with the five-year average of 77% at this time of year.

The ample domestic bean production is putting pressure on prices and the market has eased further over the past week. The Chicago November futures contract closed on Tuesday, 27 October at 548¢/bushel, down slightly from 551.0¢/bushel last week.

The availability of new-crop beans has resulted in the crush rate being stepped up. During this week 31.94 million bushels of beans have been crushed, up from 30.7m bushels a week ago.

With much of the American soya bean crop already harvested, traders are starting to switch their attention to the southern hemisphere.

In both Brazil and Argentina there are reports of increased planting of oilseed crops in place of corn due to prevailing weather conditions. The likely increased acreage in South America comes on top of a record crop in the USA this year of 2.8 billion bushels.

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