By Joanna Levin

FAVOURABLE seeding conditions in the midwest have driven US soyabean prices lower in recent days. The spring crop is estimated to be 38% planted, ahead of the five-year average of 23%.

Soyabean futures contracts closed sharply lower on 19 May 19, after drifting downwards all of last week. The Chicago July contract settled at $6.32/bushel, down 12¢ on the previous days close and 20.25¢ lower on the week.

In addition to bearish weather forecasts, beans have also come under pressure due to soya oil weakness. The oil market, which had rallied to its highest level since early 1995, was this week hit by news of an upward revision in the April monthly oil stocks.

Official figures increased the amount of oil in store by 84 million lb to 1.405 billion lb. Profit-taking and weakness in the Malaysian palm oil market also took their toll on US soya oil prices. The July Chicago contract closed on 19 May at 27.58, down 1.98 from on the week.

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