By Joanna Levin

A SMALL upturn in United States soya prices encouraged producers on to the market last week. Chicago contracts continued their recent rally, gaining 5¢ on the week to close at $6.48/bushel (£3.88/bushel) yesterday (Monday). Futures have now risen more than 20¢ since mid-April.

US soya prices are being buoyed by reduced export forecasts for palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia. Soya oil prices last week reached their highest level since January 1995 before slipping back on rumours that China was about to cancel a major order.

But the soya oil contracts for May still ended yesterday at $28.90 (£17.28), up 90¢ from a week ago. Despite the rally, analysts say the short-term outlook for soyabeans is poor. The South American harvest continues apace and US prices remain two-thirds below last years values, burdened by high carry-over stocks.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture on Friday announced $100 million of soyabean export credits for South Korea, a somewhat higher-than-expected figure.

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