By Joanna Levin

SOYA bean prices ended slightly firmer at the end of last week with the Chicago November futures contract gaining 5.5¢ on the week to close on Friday, 4 September at 518.5¢/bushel.

While strength in other grains and a recovery in the US stock market helped to support bean prices last week, this has been offset by expectations of a record harvest, which will increase domestic oversupply.

Good weather conditions for US bean farmers has driven prices down by over 20% since June. According to the latest USDA survey the crop is rated 65% good to excellent, 24% fair while only 11% is rated poor to very poor.

The industry will be watching closely for the crucial USDA national crop estimate to be announced on 11 September. Many private forecasters are predicting record or near-record yields this year.

Meanwhile, soya oil staged a rally thanks to hopes that China will prove to be an active buyer following widespread flood damage to its bean crop. The Chicago September futures contract closed on Friday, 4 September at 24.35¢/lb, up 0.71¢ on the previous week.

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